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Walmart says recalled product linked to deadly infection was sold at stores in 18 states

On Tuesday, Walmart offered its condolences to the families of the victims. The company issued a voluntarily recall of the room sprays last week, after tests detected a rare and deadly bacteria in one of the bottles found at a patient’s home. (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Walmart is taking action to notify its online and in-store shoppers who may have purchased a room spray possibly linked to a deadly bacterial infection.

On Tuesday, Walmart issued a news release detailing its efforts to email, send letters and call customers who may have purchased the recalled products, which include six different scents of Better Homes & Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones. The company said it began contacting shoppers on Oct. 22, after an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined one bottle of the “lavender and chamomile”-scented spray to contain a bacteria known to cause melioidosis, a potentially fatal disease primarily seen in tropical climates.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Oct. 22 announced that an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria in a bottle found at the home of a patient in Georgia. (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

The CDC is currently investigating four cases of melioidosis possibly linked to the recalled products. Two of the four patients, including one child, have died.

“We are committed to providing safe, high-quality products to our customers,” reads a statement issued by Walmart on Tuesday. “Our sympathies go out to the four families that have been impacted by this situation. Customer safety is always a top priority and as part of the recall we proactively put plans in action to notify customers and prevent further product sales while federal agencies continue their investigation.”

Those four confirmed cases of melioidosis were reported in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia. Walmart said Tuesday, however, that the recalled products were available in “about 55 stores” throughout the country. It was also sold online.

The company shared a complete list of the Walmart stores that had sold the room spray, which were located in the following 18 states:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

The CDC’s investigation into the cluster of melioidosis cases is ongoing.

In addition to recalling the products and removing them from sale, Walmart is urging customers who purchased the room sprays to return their bottles to Walmart, double-bagged in zip-top bags and packaged in a cardboard box. Those who return their room sprays to Walmart will be provided with a $20 gift card, as well as a full refund.

The CDC is also alerting anyone who used the spray to clean any linens or surfaces the products had been used on. Those experiencing possible symptoms of melioidosis, or those who believed they were exposed to the product in the last seven days, are instructed to seek medical care.


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