Walmart recalls room sprays for possible dangerous bacteria that killed two in US, including child

Better Home and Gardens Gem Room Spray, recalled for the possible presence of a dangerous bacteria that causes melioidosis
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Better Home and Gardens Gem Room Spray, recalled for the possible presence of a dangerous bacteria that causes melioidosis

Walmart is recalling 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens brand aromatherapy room spray due to the possible presence of a rare and dangerous bacteria tied to two deaths in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested a version of the spray and found the bacteria Burkholderai pseudomallei, which causes melioidosis, while investigating a cluster of four cases in the U.S., including the two deaths.

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Cases were reported in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia. It is unclear where exactly the deaths occurred, only that one of the victims was a child.

The tested spray was found in the home of the Georgia resident, who became ill with melioidosis in late July.

Affected sprays are versions of Better Home and Gardens Gem Room Spray in the following scents and product numbers:

  • Lavender and chamomile, 84140411420
  • Lemon and mandarin, 84140411421
  • Lavender, 84140411422
  • Peppermint, 84140411423
  • Lime and eucalyptus, 84140411424
  • Sandalwood and vanilla, 84140411425

Sprays were sold for about $4 at about 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online from February 2021 through Oct. 21, 2021, when Walmart pulled the product from its shelves and website.

The sprays were in a 5-ounce glass bottle with a pump spray nozzle.

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If you have one of the affected sprays, the CDC said to take the following steps.

  1. Stop using the product immediately. Don’t open the bottle or attempt to throw it away or otherwise dispose of it.
  2. Double-bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top bags and place in a small cardboard box, then return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  3. Wash sheets and linens the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer.
  4. Wipe down counters and surfaces the product might have been sprayed on with undiluted disinfectant cleaner.
  5. Handle the product as little as possible and wash hands thoroughly after handling the bottle or linens and after removing gloves.

Customers will receive a $20 Walmart gift card on returning the room spray, according to the recall.

If you used the spray within the last 21 days and have a fever or other symptoms of a melioidosis infection, the CDC said to seek medical care and tell the doctor you were exposed to the spray. If you used the product in the last seven days but have no symptoms, your doctor may recommend you get antibiotics to prevent infection.

Melioidosis is a rare but serious disease in the U.S. It has several types of infection and a wide range of signs and symptoms that can be mistaken for other diseases. Person-to-person spread is extremely rare, the CDC said.

The bacteria naturally occurs in parts of south and southeast Asia, as well as northern Australia. The spray is made in India, which led the CDC to suspect it was involved in the outbreak.

To see more images of the recalled products, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission recall here.

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