Oct 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

CDC finds rare, deadly bacteria in aromatherapy spray

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Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified Friday an aromatherapy spray imported from India as the source of a serious tropical disease that sickened four people earlier this year, killing two.

Driving the news: A CDC investigation found the same type of bacteria that causes an extremely rare disease called melioidosis in a spray bottle sold at nearly 55 Walmart stores between February and October.

  • The four people who contracted the disease were from Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota and Texas. Two of the patients, including one a child in Georgia, died, according to the CDC.
  • The spray bottle labeled "Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones" was found in the Georgia resident's home, per the CDC.
  • Walmart and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall Friday for 3,900 bottles of the spray in six scents.

What's next: The CDC said it will continue to test to confirm if the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria in the bottle matches those of the bacteria identified in the four residents.

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