Melioidosis can be spread by contaminated soil and water during a hurricane. Protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Do not wade, swim, bathe, put your head in, or swallow floodwater. If you can’t avoid floodwater, wear waterproof clothing or boots and cover cuts with bandages.
Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. The disease is caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei or B. pseudomallei, which is found in contaminated soil and water. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.
Melioidosis is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. However, B. psuedomallei was also found in the environment along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in the United States in 2022. CDC And state partners are investigating to determine how widespread the bacteria is within the continental United States.