Health experts admit they don't know why a carnivorous bug is spreading across Victoria quickly.
The Bairnsdale ulcer has spread in recent months from the Bellarine Peninsula to the nearby town of Geelong and the surrounding Surf Coast.
Local health service Barwon Health has registered 10 new cases this year in the suburb of Geelong in Belmont and in Aireys Inlet along the Great Ocean Road.
Also known as the Daintree ulcer, the ulcerative skin disease begins as abnormal tissue growth before eating through meat and leaving nasty wounds.
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The Bairnsdale ulcer is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium ulcerans (stock image)
The regional Victorian city of Geelong has become a new hotspot for the Bairnsdale ulcer
The carnivorous ulcer has spread from the Bellarine Peninsula to Geelong and the surfing coast
While the summer is fast approaching, Barwon Health is Deputy Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Professor Daniel O & Brien, the newest Health Officer to issue a warning as the disease continues to spread in Australia.
The carnivorous insect is also rampant in Far North Queensland that has spread to Victoria & # 39; s Mornington Peninsula.
& # 39; We don't know how it spread, & # 39; said professor O & # 39; Brien Geelong advertiser.
He insisted residents to cover while gardening, avoid dirt in wounds, use insect repellent and avoid contact with opaque droppings.
Cases have remained stable in the region compared to last year, despite a decline in Victoria.
In Barwon-South West, 23 cases have so far been reported compared to 24 in the same period last year.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Barwon Health for more information, but was forwarded to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The warning comes after another person was struck with the bug in Far North Queensland, the fifth confirmed case in the region this year
The carnivorous ulcer was previously limited to the Daintree and Mossman rivers, north of Cairns, but is also spreading in Victoria
Tthe carnivorous ulcer was previously limited to the Daintree and Mossman rivers, north of Cairns, the Cairns Post reported.
But the vicious carnivorous disease has moved south to Victoria's Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas.
At least 240 people in Victoria have so far fallen victim to the disease this year, compared to 293 this year last year.
& # 39; So far we have no clear explanation why it is found in any area, including the areas in Victoria or the Daintree Mossman area & he said.
Not much is currently known about the infection, but it is believed that it is spread by mosquitoes, from opossums to humans.
Not much is known about the infection, but it is believed that it is spread by mosquitoes
& # 39; Mossman Daintree area disease research has been ongoing for years, in collaboration with James Cook University and the World Health Organization collaboration center in Victoria, & # 39; said Gair.
Microbiologist Tim Stinear from the University of Melbourne is worried that the disease will spread more.
& # 39; I agree that that is a real shift … it could suggest that the (infection) reservoir has shifted. I think that is cause for concern and definitely needs investigation & he said to the Australian.
The bacteria destroys skin cells, small blood vessels and even fat under the skin, causing the annoying ulcer and skin loss.
The bacteria destroys skin cells, small blood vessels and even fat under the skin, causing the annoying ulcer and skin loss (stock image)
The ulcer grows over time and therefore early diagnosis is crucial to minimize skin loss.
James Cook University professor John McBride said he was worried about the spread of the disease.
& # 39; You might think the first case was an anomaly, but the second and third cases make you think it's spreading, & # 39; he said.
An article published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) in April last year reports the tissue-destroying infection that has spread by more than 400 percent in Australia since 2010.
WHAT IS THE BAIRNSDALE ULCER?
A contagious skin disease in which bacteria kill skin cells, small blood vessels and fat under the skin, leading to ulceration.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
– Mosquito bites in wetland and coastal areas
– Areas with opossum poo of opossum species such as the common ringtail and brushtail opossum
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
– A small painless bump that looks like an insect bite that usually sits on the arms and legs
– Hump grows and swells over days and weeks
– Can often be painful during development
– Can lead to a low fever
– The stain then becomes bright red and crust in a non-healing crust
– Mange falls apart and turns into an ulcer
– Ulcer keeps getting bigger
HOW DO YOU TREAT THE INSECT?
– Oral antibiotics
– Small surgery: where a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue is cut out to completely remove the infection
– Complex surgery: involves a skin transplant where a healthy piece of skin is transplanted to where the ulcer is
PREVENTION OF THE ULCER
– Wear insect repellent
– Wear shirts and pants with long sleeves outdoors
– Cover and cut wounds or scrapes
– Immediately wash and cover and new cuts
– Have a medical check
Source: BetterHealth Channel Victoria
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