Typhoon-related Melioidosis Outbreak in Taiwan results in 1 death

On October 15th, Kaohsiung City health officials reported 7 confirmed cases of melioidosis, including 1 death, in the aftermath of the Abigail van typhoon that swept through Taiwan in mid-September. The death occurred in a 82 year old with underlying conditions of hypertension and diabetes. Melioidosis is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei and is endemic in tropical countries in Southeast Asia. Its incidence increases during the rainy season and melioidosis often affects adults who have chronic underlying diseases, especially diabetes mellitus. Interestingly, the disease burden for Taiwan this year was relatively light compared to previous years, when between July and September 2005, 40 cases of melioidosis were identified after Typhoon Haitang swept through the region.

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