Water

How can Melioidosis be Prevented?

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease is an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei which is a gram negative bacterium. The bacteria is present in both soil and water. It is a water-borne infectious disease. The bacteria is of public health importance in endemic nations of northern Australia and Thailand. The disease Melioidosis can be prevented by taking some measures

The bacterium B. pseudomallei causes disease in cattle such as goats, sheeps, pigs and horses etc. Humans can directly contract the disease through some contaminated source. The parasite can enter through skin by contaminated soil, by wounds or burns, eating contaminated food or dust inhalation.

Melioidosis Prevention:

Melioidosis can be prevented by following these steps –


  • Biosafety Level 3

    – Implement Biosafety Level 3 containment practices while working in laboratory with the bacteria B. pseudomallei. This is the level which is allocated for those organisms which are serious or potentially lethal when inhaled. There is no vaccine available for melioidosis.

  • Body fluid and blood precautions should be taken to prevent the disease in a health care.
  • Wear gloves and boots while working in soil for agricultural purposes.
  • Avoid contact with standing water and soils in endemic areas, especially if you have diabetes, chronic renal failure, skin lesions and compromised immune system.
  • If you have already suffered with melioidosis, to prevent its relapse prolonged antibiotic treatment plan should be continued. Doxycycline and co-trimoxazole should be used for 12 to 20 weeks. Penicillin and azithromycin should also be taken as prescribed by doctor.
  • The disease melioidosis has a relapse rate of 10 to 20 percent. Hence, comply with the eradication plan.

Following the above described measures, the disease melioidosis can be prevented.

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