October 26, 2021 — Texas was one of four states where people were infected with a rare tropical disease after using Walmart’s Better Homes and Gardens Aromatherapy Room Spray.
On October 22, Walmart recalled about 3,900 bottles of the aromatherapy spray after a deadly outbreak of a rare disease called melioidosis.
Four people were infected in Texas, Kansas, Minnesota and Georgia. Two people died, including one child, according to the outbreak investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The victims were infected with the bacteria Burkholderia pseutomallei, which is commonly found in soil and water in tropical and subtropical countries such as India, where the aromatherapy room spray was manufactured.
The spray was sold at about 55 Walmart stores and online between February and October 21, 2021, when Walmart recalled the product.
The recall involves 6 scents of the aromatherapy spray:
- 84140411420 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender & Chamomile
- 84140411421 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lemon and Mandarin
- 84140411422 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender
- 84140411423 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Peppermint
- 84140411424 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lime & Eucalyptus
- 84140411425 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Sandalwood and Vanilla
Because the bacteria is so dangerous, health officials are warning consumers not to open the bottles or throw it away in the regular trash. Instead, consumers should put on gloves, double-bag the bottle in two plastic zip-top bags, and put it in a small cardboard box before returning it to Walmart for a refund (plus a $20 Walmart gift card).
People can be infected with the bacteria from breathing or swallowing it. The symptoms of a lung infection may include coughing, chest pain when breathing, high fever, headache, sore muscles, and weight loss.
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