Melioidosis suspected for children’s death at Badiyadka

July 26, 2019 06:27 pm | Updated July 27, 2019 08:15 am IST - KASARAGOD

The cause of the death of two children at Badiyadka here a few days ago is suspected to be melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by a gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, found in soil and water, according to an official press release here on Friday.

An eight-month-old child and a four-and-a-half-year-old boy, siblings, died on July 23 and 24 respectively after they had been admitted to a hospital in Mangaluru following fever.

Health Department officials here said their preliminary assumption, based on the test results done at Father Mueller Hospital in Mangaluru, was that the deaths were caused by melioidosis, not by any viral infection. However, the disease would be confirmed only after the test results from the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

The District Medical Office here said there was no need for panic as viral infection was not confirmed in the tests done in Mangaluru. Melioidosis could be treated if patients seek treatment in the early stages. People with compromised immunity, especially children, pregnant women, aged people and others with chronic diseases, are vulnerable to contracting melioidosis. The disease could be treated with antibiotic drugs in normal patients.

The release said health workers, led by epidemiologists, examined the house of the deceased children and nearby areas to find the source of the bacterium.

Animal Husbandry officials collected samples from domestic animals and soil samples for testing. Parents and relatives of the deceased children were being monitored at the Kannur Government Medical College Hospital at Pariyaram. At present they had no health issues, they added.

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