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Lavender Room Spray Sold at Walmart Led to 2 Deaths

A lavender spray sold at Walmart resulted in two deaths and severe illnesses of four people, according to a case study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. All four patients had used the lavender and chamomile scent of Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray With Gemstones which had been imported from India and sold at 55 Walmart stores. The spray was manufactured by Flora Classique Inc. and sold under the Better Homes & Gardens brand.

A rare bacteria called Burkholderia pseudomallei causes an illness known as melioidosis. Melioidosis can lead to joint pain, seizures and fevers and affect the heart, brain, lungs, and more. A 5-year-old boy in Georgia arrived at an emergency department with vomiting, weakness, and a sore throat on July 12, 2021. His fever rose to more than 102 degrees during his hospitalization, his breathing was erratic, and he tested positive for COVID-19. After being treated with the antiviral drug remdesivir, he died four days later.

His autopsy detected coronavirus and Burkholderia pseudomallei in the boy’s lungs, liver, spleen, and brain. In another case, a 4-year-old girl in Texas exhibited vomiting and high fevers and was thought to have a urinary tract infection and placed on antibiotics. She later developed septic shock, which causes organs to shut down. According to the study, the girl survived but needed a wheelchair and remained non-verbal after her hospitalization.

Two deaths were reported, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined a version of the product “contained the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei which causes melioidosis,” the recall notice said. The October recall was announced for 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens-branded- Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones.

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