Aromatherapy spray linked to US deaths faces recall

NEW YORK, U.S. health officials have solved the mystery as to how four people from different states contracted a severe tropical disease. None of them had traveled internationally. The culprit? An aromatherapy spray imported in India.

Aromatherapy spray linked to US deaths faces recall

NEW YORK, U.S. health officials have solved the mystery as to how four people from different states contracted a severe tropical disease. None of them had traveled internationally. The culprit? An aromatherapy spray imported in India.

Friday's announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that investigators discovered the same bacteria that causes melioidosis in a spray bottle that was found in the home of one of the patients.

They were all from Texas, Kansas, Minnesota, and Minnesota. Two of them, including one child from Georgia, died.

According to the agency, it was testing to verify that the bacteria contained in the bottle was the same as the one found in the patients. The agency previously stated that lab tests had shown all four infections were closely related.

The spray that was found in the Georgia home of the patient was manufactured in India. According to the agency, the genetic profile of bacteria found in the bottle was similar to those commonly found in South Asia.

According to the CDC, the contaminated product was called "Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile essential oil infused aromatherapy room spray with gemstones". It was sold at $4 in 55 Walmart stores, and Walmart's website from February through Thursday.

Walmart and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall Friday to 3,900 sprays in six fragrances. Officials are looking into whether any other brands or scents may be a potential risk.

Walmart released a statement Friday stating that it took immediate action after federal agencies informed the retailer about their findings.

Melioidosis, which is rare in the United States with only 12 cases annually, is very uncommon. It can be contracted by direct contact with contaminated soil or water. According to the CDC, it is possible to treat the infection if caught early enough and properly treated.

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