4 people were attacked by Whitmore bacteria

Bac GiangProvincial General Hospital recorded 4 people with fever in a row, diagnosed with Whitmore, including two severe cases, in just the past week.

A hospital representative on September 24 said that the patients were middle-aged, living in Tan Yen district, Yen Dung… Before being admitted to the hospital, they had fever for a long time, high fever, chills. In two severe cases, one was very serious, fell into a state of shock, had to receive intensive resuscitation treatment immediately upon admission.

The hospital did screening tests to rule out the possibility of fever caused by Covid-19, then examined patients such as chest x-ray, ultrasound. Blood culture results showed that the patients were infected with B.pseudomallei bacteria causing Whitmore’s disease.

According to doctors, the number of Whitmore cases hospitalized suddenly increased this week. Meanwhile, from January to August, the hospital recorded only one Whitmore case.

The reason for the sudden increase in the number of patients is unknown. For decades, Whitmore’s disease has almost disappeared, reappearing in recent years.

Whitmore also called disease Melioidosis, is a dangerous acute infectious disease. Pathogenic bacteria live in the soil. The main route of infection is through scratches on the skin that come into contact with soil or water with bacteria, or through the respiratory tract when breathing dust particles with bacteria.

Patients with Whitmore’s clinical manifestations are diverse and unclear. Patients often have multi-organ damage such as pneumonia, bacteremia, disseminated infection, localized infection such as muscle abscess, software abscess, liver abscess, lymphadenitis, osteomyelitis… Time Incubation ranges from one to 21 days, with an average of 9 days. Symptoms usually appear two to four weeks after exposure to the bacteria.

There is currently no vaccine for this disease. Therefore, doctors recommend that people should actively fight Whitmore’s disease by eating cooked food, drinking cooled boiled water, ensuring food hygiene and safety. Do not slaughter or eat dead animals, livestock or poultry; limit direct contact with soil, dirty water, in heavily polluted places, when contact is necessary, use protective gear such as gloves, boots… Do not bathe, swim, dive in ponds , lakes, rivers at/near the polluted place.

In the presence of open wounds, sores or burns, contact with potentially contaminated soil or water should be avoided. If contact is required, use a waterproof bandage and should be washed to ensure hygiene.

People with underlying diseases such as diabetes, liver and kidney disease, immunodeficiency… need to be cared for and protected from damage to prevent infection. When an infection is suspected, it is necessary to go to the hospital for timely examination and treatment.

Patient Whitmore, 50 years old, with a doctor on September 23. Photo: Hospital provided



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