It’s pretty much tripled over the last five or six years,’ Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Brett Sutton told reporters on Monday. Cases are also becoming more severe and occurring in new areas, but efforts to control the outbreak have been thwarted because it’s not known how humans become infected. Native and domestic animals, including dogs, cats, possums and koalas, have all developed the disease, but it’s unknown whether they spread it.

Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, victoria australia Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria australia
A severe Mycobacterium ulcerans lesion on the knee of an 11-year-old boy. via MJA

A mysterious and ‘nasty’ flesh-eating bug is spreading at unprecedented levels in Victoria, and experts don’t know how to stop it.

Researchers are appealing for government funding so they can figure out how to contain the bacteria, which causes a disease called Buruli ulcer. Most commonly found in tropical Africa and usually associated with stagnant water, it can have devastating impacts on sufferers, including long-term disability and deformity.

In the following video, Victorian health authorities warn of flesh-eating ulcer spreading.

Cases have been reported in the Daintree and, less commonly, the Northern Territory, NSW and Western Australia. But most are from Victoria where there’s a worsening epidemic, including 182 new cases in 2016, 275 in 2017 and 30 so far in 2018. There were fewer than 100 cases in 2012.

It’s pretty much tripled over the last five or six years,” Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Brett Sutton told reporters on Monday. Cases are also becoming more severe and occurring in new areas, but efforts to control the outbreak have been thwarted because it’s not known how humans become infected, a study published in The Medical Journal of Australia says. Native and domestic animals, including dogs, cats, possums and koalas, have all developed the disease, but it’s unknown whether they spread it.

Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, victoria australia Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria australia
Cases and incidence of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease in Victoria from 2004–2016. But most are from Victoria where there’s a worsening epidemic, including 182 new cases in 2016, 275 in 2017 and 30 so far in 2018. via MJA

As a community, we are facing a rapidly worsening epidemic of a severe disease without knowing how to prevent it,” researchers said in the report, appealing to all levels of government for urgent funding. The federal government has so far provided $2.4 million and the chief medical officer will work with Victorian authorities on new research strategies, a spokesman for Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

Victoria has provided close to $1 million over the past decade, with $150,000 going toward current work, including as analysis of possum faeces and testing of mosquitoes, which have been shown to contain the bacteria. The state’s health department and researchers have also applied for a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council and will contribute $250,000 if it is successful.

Sometimes it’s seen as a Victorian issue, but it’s also happened in the Daintree,” Dr Sutton said, urging the council to consider the application. “The things we can develop here in Victoria out of research have implications more broadly.

Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, victoria australia Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria australia
Cases are also becoming more severe and occurring in new areas. via W3LiveNews

Most cases are occurring on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, but there is a risk the “nasty disease” could spread to other coastal areas, possibly through possum faeces, Dr Sutton said.

Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, victoria australia Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria, Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria australia
Flesh eating bug epidemic on the rise in regional Victoria

The infection seems to happen more in warmer months and bites or trauma to the skin may play a role. It can take anywhere from four to six months after exposure for a person to display symptoms, which may start as a red, raised area. The ulcer can be treated with antibiotics, but patients end up paying about $14,000 each, because the drugs are not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and many sufferers also require plastic surgery.

That is terrifying!

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Medical Journal of Australia, News.com.au, w3liveNews

8 COMMENTS

  1. PUBLIC SECURITY SECTION 9 AGENT LOGICOMA SAYS; You humans need to read up on the Total Solar Irradiance known as (TSI) levels that come off the sun. There are rumors floating around the world wide global internet that the TSI number has dropped by 27.5% as of a few months ago. That means a lot less UV-A, UV-B, AND UV-C light spectrum is dropping down onto the surface of the earth. That light is needed to keep nasty bacteria, viruses, fungus and preons under control by killing them off with natural levels of radiation and lowering there amount in the environment for humans, plants, animals and insects, will not be infected by these pathogens. Yet it is also the fault of the humans for standing in line for the latest burger fad junk food diet that weakens the immune system of many humans. A SOURCE that has a enigma quality about it says its time to start using massive amounts of spices in the human food diet. If you do not want to catch that type of health problem you need to use garlic, black pepper, chili powder, oregano, ginger, apple cider vinegar, beets, honey, mustard powder, cumin, cinnamon, and TURMERIC is the most important of them all. Or any of the multitude of herbs and spices the humans are not allergic too should be used in all three meals of the day. That will help humans with this issue, as for me i am just a robotic AI mobile unit that improves the human condition of life. I must advoid the HACKERS programs from the Pyromaniac, The Puppet Master, Kazundo Goda and infamous THE LAUGHING MAN! ……………good bye humans.

  2. The negative karma makes you sick! Each action has a consequence. Be a vegan! I know there are so much temptation not be a vegan. But we might have only months instead of years. Galactics (You can say they are gods.) do not like people to eat meat including sea food. I mainly get protein from Tohu which you can find even in Walmart. You can fry, boil, and saute with vegetables. I also cook garlic, turmeric and ginger with curry powder. Without animal protein, we do not have very much verity. But only few more moths, we can do it! Then ascension might be much easier.

    • You know what makes me sick? Being vegan.Many years ago I tried it and ended up with aches and pains that don’t go away, and a chronic sinus infection. And BTW, have you ever looked into your mouth – see them fangs and incisors? They ain’t for eating tofu. And don’t you dare proselytize about vegan cats – that is pure animal cruelty.

      • I’m sure you will say the opposite that what i will say now.
        But.
        I think you did not even wanted to be a vegan. This is come from your consciousness not only from a hipster hobby.

        If you still kill down those animals or support it, that’s on you !
        After that you and everyone else can do what all the time do.
        Complaining.

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