Who would have thought that something as simple as improving the aroma in your house could be deadly? An essential oil room spray sold at Walmart is the source of rare, but dangerous bacteria that infected and killed a woman in Georgia earlier this year, and could be deadly to more, says a concerned CDC statement.
Walmart has recalled 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones, which comes in 6 different scents: Lemon & Mandarin, Lavender, Peppermint, Lime & Eucalyptus, and Sandalwood & Vanilla. All bottles of the spray were pulled from store shelves in October.
They were previously sold at 55 stores nationwide and online at Walmart.com. The spray was manufactured in India. The bacteria was found in the Lavender & Chamomile scent, and the CDC is now testing the others.
Officials said tests by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention revealed a bottle of the spray contained the rare and dangerous Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria, which causes melioidosis, according to experts.
Melioidosis is a difficult condition to diagnose and can be fatal, authorities said.
Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria found in the spray has been linked to four infections in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia. Two children were infected, including one who died.
The most recent death was a patient who died in a Georgia hospital in July. Post-mortem testing revealed melioidosis was the case of death.
CDC disease detectives have been urgently hunting the source of these rare cases of melioidosis, an infection that’s usually seen in Asia.
When the Georgia patient was identified, they tested products found in the patient’s home and found the bacteria. Genetic testing revealed it was the same bacteria associated with the other four infections.
The CDC issued an urgent health alert to doctors to be on the lookout for cases of melioidosis, which can be difficult to diagnosis because the first symptoms can look like a number of other illnesses.
The first symptoms seen in these four cases ranged from cough and shortness of breath to weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, intermittent fever, rash on the abdomen and face. Both children had severe neurologic issues.
What to do
Anyone who purchased one of the affected products should follow these steps:
- Stop using it immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not attempt to throw away or dispose of the bottle.
- Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags and place in a