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Why sudden increase in Melioidosis cases in India?
Melioidosis is also called "the great mimicker" of tuberculosis and other diseases and there is an urgent need to create awareness among clinicians and microbiologists. Lack of experience of such diseases, without clinical clues or familiarity with the disease, possibly was the reason for rare reporting according to a review in Journal of Associations of Physicians in India.
A 5 year retrospective study of case records of only 20 patients out of 34 proven melioidosis were traced. Twelve of them have died in hospital. Melioidosis is a life-threatening fatal disease but potentially curable. Researchers say there can be a decrease in the mortality rate to less than 10% with faster bacterial confirmation, appropriate antibiotics, and good hospital care.
If I talk about the disease- it is common in tropical climates with hot, humid, and higher rainfall and wind. The bacteria usually persist in the soil. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, prolonged glucocorticoid therapy, and chronic liver or renal disease are more prone to developing melioidosis.
Melioidosis is much more commoner than ever believed to be diagnosed in tropical countries like India, the diabetic capital of the world. This disease is grossly underreported in the tropical regions in India, probably due to a lack of awareness and multiple symptoms that imitate other conditions without specific identifying features. Even if diagnosed at times, it is already too late or after death only.
The signs and symptoms of melioidosis mimic other diseases like tuberculosis, used to delay the diagnosis and ultimately management of melioidosis.
Therefore, the importance of awareness and knowledge of this disease entity is of great importance. The treatment regimen consists of early aggressive antibiotics for weeks and is followed by prolonged maintenance, which is quite different from other acute bacterial diseases. So the authors concluded that many patients die due to non-diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or inadequate and incorrect treatment.
Reference: Prasanta Raghab Mohapatra; Increasing Melioidosis Cases in India; SEPTEMBER – 2022, VOLUME : 70; JAPI.
Dr. Nandita Mohan
BDS, MDS( Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry)
Dr. Nandita Mohan is a practicing pediatric dentist with more than 5 years of clinical work experience. Along with this, she is equally interested in keeping herself up to date about the latest developments in the field of medicine and dentistry which is the driving force for her to be in association with Medical Dialogues. She also has her name attached with many publications; both national and international. She has pursued her BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore and later went to enter her dream specialty (MDS) in the Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry from Pt. B.D. Sharma University of Health Sciences. Through all the years of experience, her core interest in learning something new has never stopped. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751