Photo credit: Paul Jeffers

The mysterious flesh-eating bug outbreak infecting Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and surrounding areas continues to worsen, with latest figures showing the disease has now overtaken last year’s record number.

2017 saw 277 cases of Buruli ulcer, also known locally as Bairnsdale ulcer. Data released by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services shows 49 new cases were diagnosed in the last four weeks, and medical experts fear the total number of cases could push 400 for the year. DHHS is warning people living in or visiting the Mornington Peninsula this summer to protect themselves from mosquito bites, at this stage the best hypothesis as to how the disease is spread.

Buruli ulcer is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium ulcerans, which through a puncture wound in the skin and releases a toxin to cloak itself from the body’s immune system, allowing it to spread undetected through tissue. It can leave people with gruesome and permanent disfigurement, and in worse cases require amputation of limbs….

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