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Epidemic of flesh eating tropical ulcers hits Australia

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1706 (Published 17 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1706
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London, UK

Australia is facing a “rapidly worsening epidemic” of flesh eating ulcers, known as Buruli ulcers, which are most commonly seen in tropical regions of West or Central Africa.

Around 2000 cases of Buruli ulcers are reported worldwide each year. In Australia, 95 cases were reported in the Daintree area of northern Queensland between 2009 and 2015, and a few cases have been reported in other parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory, and New South Wales. But the increasing numbers are predominantly being seen in “temperate” rural areas in the state of Victoria.

In 2016, there were 182 cases in Victoria—the highest ever reported. By 11 November 2017, 216 had been reported in …

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