Melioidosis, also called Whitmore's disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. The symptoms most commonly stem from lung disease where the infection can form a cavity of pus (abscess). The effects can range from mild bronchitis to severe pneumonia. As a result, patients also may experience fever, headache, loss of appetite, cough, chest pain, and general muscle soreness.
HOW IS MELIOIDOSIS DIAGNOSED?
AN interview with the patient with specific questions relating to any recent travel would be conducted by a general physician. In addition to diagnostic tests such as blood and urine a throat swab could also be performed to check for the presence of the disease causing bacteria.
HOW IS MELIOIDOSIS TREATED?
The treatment is divided into two stages – intravenous high intensity phase and eradication phase to prevent recurrence. Intravenous ceftazidime is the drug injected in the first phase following which eradication is recommended with co-trimoxazole and doxycycline for 12 to 20 weeks.
DID YOU KNOW?
It has been observed that this disease recurs in at least 10-20% of patients and therefore eradication therapy is important.