Melioidosis is an infectious disease that can infect humans or animals. The disease is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. It is predominately a disease of tropical climates, especially in Southeast Asia and northern Australia where it is widespread. The bacteria causing melioidosis are found in contaminated water and soil. It is spread to humans and animals through direct contact with the contaminated source.
Melioidosis, a zoonotic disease, is caused by infection of Burkholderia pseudomallei existing in soil or water, which mainly distributes in tropical areas between 20 degree North and 20 degree South latitude. The major epidemic areas for the disease are Southeast Asia and northern Australia and the epidemic time is monsoon season in these areas. Since Taiwan is geographically located near the melioidosis-distributed latitude and covers areas of both tropical and subtropical climate regions, she has a similar risk of melioidosis infection as that in countries of Southeast Asia.
In 1985, the first melioidosis case, an imported case from Philippines, was reported in Taiwan. The confirmed melioidosis cases in Taiwan mainly clustered in Kaohsiung-Pingtung region (Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County), followed by southern Taiwan region (Tainan City). The number of cases of melioidosis increased obviously following the strikes of typhoon.
Melioidosis Surveillance in Taiwan
Taiwan National Infectious Disease Statistics System--Melioidosis
Prevention and Control
Source: USA CDC, Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/melioidosis/