Death of children: Melioidosis suspected to be the cause

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, had died on July 23 and 24 respectively after they had been admitted to a hospital in Mangaluru following fever. The Health Department officials here said that their preliminary assumption based on the test results done at the 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 Virology Institute in Pune, they informed.

The District Medical Office here said there was no need for any panic as viral infection was not confirmed in the tests done in Mangaluru.

It said that 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, it said.


The release also informed that 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, the officials said. At present they had no health issues, they added.

The Health officials called on the public to ensure food and personal hygiene and avoid contact with filthy water as a precaution to prevent the infection from the bacterium.

People were also urged to drink only boiled water. Those working in waterlogged areas were advised to wear personal safety gears such as gloves and boots, they said.

Source: Read Full Article