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Fri Nov 1, 2019, 03:25 AM

Flesh-eating ulcer spreads to new regions, prompting Victoria health alert

Buruli ulcer has spread to town on Great Ocean Road and a suburb of Geelong

Melissa Davey
Wed 30 Oct 2019 23.08 EDTLast modified on Wed 30 Oct 2019 23.14 EDT

The spread to a new geographic area of Victoria of a severe tissue-destroying ulcer once rare in Australia has caused health authorities to issue a state-wide health alert to doctors.

The Buruli ulcer occurs in very specific areas of Victoria and Queensland, and those who donít enter an endemic area donít get the disease. In Victoria, transmission of the disease has until now been confined to the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas.

But on Thursday Victoriaís chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton issued an alert saying Aireys Inlet, a coastal town along the Great Ocean Road, and the Geelong suburb of Belmont, had been newly identified as transmission areas.

In the health advisory, Sutton urged doctors across the state to be aware of the warning signs of the disease and said laboratory testing for Buruli ulcer was now free for patients, although a handling fee may be charged by private pathology companies.


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