Walmart recalls aromatherapy spray linked to rare, fatal bacterial disease

Walmart has recalled nearly 4,000 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens-branded aromatherapy room spray with gemstones linked to two fatal cases of a rare bacterial disease. Photo courtesy Consumer Product Safety Commission

Nov. 3 (UPI) — Federal agencies on Wednesday expanded recalls and warnings regarding aromatherapy sprays linked to fatalities from a rare bacteria.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission said that Walmart had recalled about 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens-branded aromatherapy room spray with gemstones in six different scents due to the presence of a bacteria linked to two deaths.

“The CDC tested a version of the product and determined that it contained the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, which causes melioidosis,” the commission said.

The CDC has been investigating a cluster of cases of melioidosis, which is usually associated with travel, in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia that resulted in two deaths, including the death of a child.

Samples taken from a bottle of the aromatherapy spray, manufactured in India, in the home of the Georgia victim found the presence of the bacteria and further testing showed the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria in that bottle matched those identified in the other four patients.

The products were sold at approximately 55 Walmart stores nationwide and online at walmart.com from February 2021 through October 2021 for about $4.

The CDC recommends that consumers who have purchased the aromatherapy sprays stop using them immediately and double bag the bottle in a clean, clear zip-top resealable bag, place the bag in a small cardboard box and return it to a Walmart store.

Consumers should also wash sheets or linen the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer in addition to wiping down counters and surfaces that may have been exposed to the spray with an undiluted disinfectant cleaner.

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