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CDC expands warning regarding "gemstone" aromatherapy spray recalled by Walmart

6 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, November 04 2021 Nov 4, 2021 November 04, 2021 4:38 AM November 04, 2021 in News
Source: CNN

In late October, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that a room spray sold at Walmart had been linked to four deaths, and Walmart also issued a recall.

According to CNN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday confirmed that doctors in the U.S. should be on the lookout for symptoms of a potentially fatal infection called melioidosis -- which is caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei -- and ask patients if they've used certain sprays.

The sprays at the center of the discussion are Better Homes and Gardens-branded Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Sprays with Gemstones.

These were tested by the CDC and found to contain Burkholderia pseudomallei. 

The CDC and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued specific instructions for individuals who bought the possibly contaminated "gemstone" sprays, saying consumers shouldn't throw the products in the trash, but pack them carefully and send them in for refunds.

In October, the CDC said, "Stop using this product immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not throw away or dispose of the bottle in the regular trash.

"Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top bags and place in a cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.

"Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer; bleach can be used if desired.

"Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have the spray on them with undiluted PineSol or similar disinfectant.

"Limit direct handling of the spray bottle and wash hands thoroughly after touching the bottle or linens. If gloves were used, wash hands afterward."

"If you used the product within the past 21 days and develop a fever or other melioidosis symptoms, you should seek medical care and inform your doctor about your exposure to the spray. If you do not have symptoms but were exposed to the product in the last 7 days, your doctor may recommend that you get antibiotics (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection."

>Click here to view the instructions on the CDC's website.<

The four fatal cases of B. pseudomallei infection in the U.S. occurred in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota and Texas.

The cases initially puzzled doctors because melioidosis is a tropical disease that is usually only seen in the U.S. among those who've recently traveled overseas, but none of the infected individuals had traveled. 

Eventually, experts were able to link the cases to each victim's exposure to the Better Homes & Gardens Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones, which was manufactured in India.

The CDC said it will test similar products produced by the company, saying, "Testing for the presence of B. pseudomallei is underway for the five other scents under the same brand with Gemstones including 'Lemon & Mandarin', 'Lavender', 'Peppermint', 'Lime & Eucalyptus', and 'Sandalwood & Vanilla'."

It continued, "This product was sold online nationwide through Walmart and distributed to a limited number of Walmart stores between February and October 21, 2021."

As testing continues, the CDC is urging the public to refrain from using the product and warning doctors to be on the lookout for people with symptoms including an acute or chronic localized infection that may include high fever, pain, headache, as well as abscesses in the liver, lung, spleen, and prostate.

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