Iqra4 months ago

Fish tank harbored rare tropical disease

Even pet fish can spread diseases. Case in point; a woman in Maryland contracted a rare bacterial disease from her home aquarium. The disease, called melioidosis, is usually seen only in tropical areas outside of the U.S., Live Science previously reported. The woman's case, which occurred in 2019 and was described in a report published Sept. 27 this year in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, is unusual because the woman had never traveled outside the U.S. Her case is also the first in the world to be connected to a home aquarium, the authors said. The 56-year-old Maryland woman was first hospitalized in September 2019 with fever, cough and chest pain, and tests showed she had pneumonia. Several days later, further testing revealed that she was infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacteria that causes melioidosis. She needed to take antibiotics for 12 weeks to clear the infection. To determine where her infection came from, health officials took samples from in and around the woman's home, including samples from her two freshwater aquariums, which contained tropical fish. Samples from one fish tank were positive for B. pseudomallei, and the bacterial strain in the tank was a genetic match to the one that infected the patient. The woman may have contracted the infection when she cleaned the tank with bare hands.

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