CDC identifies cause of local girl’s rare disease
DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Lylah Baker of Denison, now 5 years old, is recovering from a rare disease. The bacteria was linked by the CDC earlier this week to an aromatherapy spray sold by Walmart.
Since the end of May, Lylah has shown strength that most children will never have to muster. Lylah is one of 4 cases of Melioidosis that broke out in the U.S. this year and one of 2 to survive. Her birthday this week, turning just five years old, was something a little more special to celebrate this year.
“Before all this started we had a normal 4 year old and a normal 1 year old,” said Lylah’s dad, Dustin Baker.
Lylah and her family came home mid August after several months in the hospital. She was diagnosed with Melioidosis, caused by the bacteria Burkholderia Pseudomallei, typically found in tropical areas of the world.
“We’ve had to adjust with having a daughter who now has special needs,” said Dustin.
Since then, Lylah has daily therapy and has made strides in recovery.
“She has now began to be able to nod her head yes and no to a response to questions and she’s able to open her hands to things now,” said Lylah’s mom, Josy Baker.
Her parents say Lylah mentally is there and she smiles all the time.
“Seeing all of these smiles has made it a lot better, a lot easier on us,” said Josy.
They’re even seeing her personality shine through.
“The other day on her birthday she laughed and my mom actually got it on video. Hearing her laugh again was awesome and seeing the little parts of her come back through like her little personality and stuff,” said Dustin.
Earlier this week the CDC linked the cause to an aromatherapy spray sold by Walmart, Better Homes & Gardens Lavender and Chamomile with Gemstones.
“Whenever we saw the picture that the CDC posted my mom called me and was like ‘Dustin, I use that in the house.’ Then my sister said that she had used it too,” said Dustin.
Having their questions finally answered was a shock and a relief.
“We were asking the doctors and everything and bouncing ideas off of them and they just looked at us and told us honestly I wouldn’t try to figure it out,” said Dustin.
In their statement, the CDC urges anyone with a bottle of recalled spray to stop using it immediately and follow their instructions to safely return the bottle to Walmart. The bacteria is not native to US soil and water. If the bottle and its contents end up in landfills or down the drain, future Melioidosis cases are possible. Their instructions are the following:
- Stop using this product immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not throw away or dispose of the bottle in the regular trash.
- Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top bags and place in a small cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
- Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer; bleach can be used if desired.
- Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have the spray on them with undiluted Pine-Sol or similar disinfectant.
- Limit how much you handle the spray bottle and wash hands thoroughly after touching the bottle or linens. If you used gloves, wash hands afterward.
- If you have used the product within the past 21 days and have fever or other melioidosis symptoms, seek medical care and tell your doctor you were exposed to the spray. If you do not have symptoms but were exposed to the product in the last 7 days, your doctor may recommend that you get antibiotics (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection.
“Do y’all’s research into everything the CDC has posted and just watch over your family members,” said Dustin.
Dustin and Josy said they cannot thank the community enough for their support since the beginning. They welcome prayers and positive thoughts as their fighter Lylah continues to recover.
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