In a follow-up on the Burkholderia pseudomallei cases that sickened four and killed two in four states has been confirmed to match the bacterial strain found in bottles of aromatherapy room spray.
According to the CDC, whole genome sequencing (WGS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the strain of Burkholderia pseudomallei in bottles of aromatherapy room spray matches the bacterial strain that sickened all four patients. The outbreak strain was identified in a bottle of “Lavender & Chamomile” scented room spray found in the home of the Georgia resident who was infected and died from B. pseudomallei infection (melioidosis) in July 2021. That same outbreak strain was also identified in an unopened bottle of the same scented product recalled from a Walmart store in a different state.
The contaminated product linked to the four cases is the Better Homes and Gardens-branded Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones “Lavender & Chamomile” scent. This product was sold online nationwide through Walmart and distributed to a limited number of Walmart stores between February and October 21, 2021.
Testing for the presence of B. pseudomallei is underway for the five other scents under the same brand with Gemstones including “Lemon & Mandarin”, “Lavender”, “Peppermint”, “Lime & Eucalyptus”, and “Sandalwood & Vanilla.”
People who have the Better Homes & Gardens Aromatherapy Room Spray “Lavender & Chamomile” with Gemstones product, or any of the other recalled scents with Gemstones (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.