Health district warns locals about deadly room spray

Local News

The following was sent as a press release from the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In March through July 2021, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed four linked cases (including two deaths) of Melioidosis in patients from Georgia, Kansas,
Minnesota and Texas.

Meliodosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia Pseudomallei.

It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where
it is widespread.

The bacteria causing Melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.

Whole genome sequencing showed the strains of bacteria (Burkholderia Pseudomallei) that sickened
the patients closely matched each other, suggesting there is a common source of infection in these

This outbreak has been linked to Better Homes & Gardens Aromatherapy Room Spray. At this time, no cases have been reported in Wichita County.

The CDC, along with Texas Department State Health Services (DSHS) and the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District recommends consumers who have the Better Homes & Gardens Aromatherapy Room Spray “Lavender & Chamomile” with Gemstones product, or any of the other recalled scents with Gemstones (including Lemon & Mandarin, Lavender, Peppermint, Lime & Eucalyptus, and Sandalwood & Vanilla) in their homes should take the following precautions:

  • Stop using this product immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not throw away or dispose of the bottle in the regular trash.
  • Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top bags and place in a cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  • Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer; bleach can be used if desired.
  • Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have the spray on them with undiluted PineSol or similar disinfectant.
  • Limit direct handling of the spray bottle and wash hands thoroughly after touching the bottle or linens. If gloves were used, wash hands afterward.
  • If you used the product within the past 21 days and develop a fever or other Melioidosis symptoms, you should seek medical care and inform your doctor about your exposure to the spray.
  • If you do not have symptoms but were exposed to the product in the last 7 days, your doctor may recommend that you get antibiotics (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection.

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