The Australian authorities have issued an immediate health alert across the country after new cases of a flesh eating disease has been detected.
In areas across Melbourne new cases of Buruli ulcer has been detected across parts of Australia, which is usually confined to coastal areas.
Speaking to ABC, Professor Tim Stinear, from the Doherty Institute in Melbourne said, “It is a flesh-eating disease but it’s a very slowly moving one, one we can treat and if we detect it early then it’s not a serious infection.
“If people present with a small mosquito bite that doesn’t look quite right there’s a very good diagnostic test.
“If you’re given the right antibiotics then there’s a really good clinical outcome for people.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a statement about Buruli ulcer on its website.
The WHO statement reads: “Buruli ulcer is a chronic debilitating disease caused by an environmental Mycobacterium ulcerans.
“It often affects the skin and sometimes bone and can lead to permanent disfigurement and long-term disability.
“At least 33 countries with tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates have reported Buruli ulcer in Africa, South America, and Western Pacific regions.
“The mode of transmission is not known and there is no prevention for the disease.”
The organisation goes on to state that, “although the causative organism of Buruli ulcer is an environmental bacterium, the mode of transmission to humans remains unknown.
“The organism produces a unique toxin – mycolactone – that causes the damage to the skin.
“Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to minimising morbidity, costs and prevent long-term disability.”