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6 Die in Taiwan of Disease Caused by Soil Bacteria

Health officials in Taiwan say six people have died from an infection caused by soil bacteria found in contaminated water.

Ten other people have been hospitalized for treatment of melioidosis, a tropical disease that is found throughout Southeast Asia. Three of the victims are in critical condition Sunday.

Taiwan's Center for Disease Control says most of those infected had been living along a heavily polluted (Erjen) creek that was flooded in mid-July by Typhoon Haitang.

People with open wounds and weak immune systems are susceptible to infection as a result of contact with flood debris, sewage and contaminated soil. Health officials in Taiwan have urged people who live in areas that recently were flooded to disinfect their homes and discard any flood-damaged furnishings.