Buruli ulcer ‘to spread in Victoria this summer’

Home Health Buruli ulcer ‘to spread in Victoria this summer’
Buruli ulcer ‘to spread in Victoria this summer’

A surge in cases of a flesh-eating ulcer has been predicted this summer.

The Buruli ulcer has been found in new parts of Victoria and experts believe it could spread in Melbourne in the coming months.

The ulcer is caused by an infection that sees bacteria get under the skin, where it can produce a toxin that destroys skin cells and fat.

It starts as a painless swelling around the size of a mosquito bite but can quickly grow into a pus-filled crater.

Without treatment, it can lead to limbs being amputated to stop the infection.

The bacteria is believed to be spread by mosquitoes and possums. It cannot be transmitted from human to human.

Cases of the ulcer have been found in Aireys Inlet and the Geelong suburbs of Belmont, Highton, Wandana Heights, Newtown, Grovedale and Marshall for the first time, Professor Deborah Friedman, Victoria’s deputy chief health officer, said on Wednesday.

Last year, there were 227 cases and the year before there were 165.

Anyone with symptoms is urged to see a doctor.

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