What are the Causes and Symptoms of Melioidosis?

Melioidosis is a water-borne disease caused by a gram negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. It is an infectious disease. The bacteria is found in soil and water. The bacteria is of most importance in northern Australia and Thailand. The symptoms for the disease may include joints and bones pain, chest pain, skin infections and pneumonia etc.

The disease Melioidosis is also called Whitmorea��s disease. The bacterium B. pseudomallei can cause disease in cattle such as sheep, goats, horses and pigs etc., as well as in humans. The parasite can enter through abrasions in skin, wounds or burns by contaminated soil, eating contaminated food or dust inhalation.

Causes of Melioidosis:

Following conditions are cited as the important factors for causing the disease –

  • Muddy area
  • Soil
  • Pooled water
  • Contaminated water
  • Unboiled water
  • Kidney disease, diabetes, alcoholism, cancer, AIDS and chemotherapy are some of the risk factors which are associated in some way to cause the disease.

Melioidosis Symptoms:

The disease exists in chronic and acute forms. Chronic melioidosis includes inflammation of bone (osteomyelitis) and pus-filled abscesses in lungs, skin and other organs. Symptoms for acute melioidosis include a localized skin infection which can spread to nearby lymph nodes, with high fever and other symptoms such as –

  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Eruption of pimples on head
  • Meningitis characterised by stiff neck, high fever, confusion, photophobia, coma and seizures.
  • Septicemia a�� It is blood poisoning characterised by diarrhea, skin pustules, abdominal pain, tender muscles and joint pains.

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