The outer suburbs of Melbourne have reported numerous cases of the flesh-eating Buruli ulcer.
Data released by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services shows 49 new cases were diagnosed in the past four weeks- with over 270 all up.
The number is a far cry from what was reported in 2013 - just 65 cases.
Victorian doctors fear the number may rise to 400 by the end of 2018.
What is the Buruli Ulcer
The Buruli ulcer, which erodes the flesh, is spread by mosquitoes and possums through the bacteria known as Mycobacterium ulcerans. Buruli is usually seen in tropical climates like Africa.
At this stage Victoria is the only exception to this.
DHHS is urging residents in the Mornington Peninsula area to protect themselves from mosquito bites - which what they believe to be how the disease is spreading.
How to protect yourself from Buruli Ulcer
- Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts and trousers when gardening or working outdoors.
- Avoid insect bites by using suitable repellants.
- Protect cuts and abrasions with a plaster.
- Promptly wash and cover any scratches and cuts that you receive while working outdoors.
- See your doctor immediately if you have any concerns
This article originally appeared on WHO.