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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Australia : Tropical disease warning after melioidosis death

Article via ABC Online, excerpt :

" A man has died from the bacterial disease melioidosis in the Top End.

There have been 18 recorded cases of the soil-borne disease so far this wet season.

Of those people who contracted the disease, 16 were from Darwin.

Professor Bart Currie heads the infectious diseases unit at Royal Darwin Hospital.

He says there are certain people at risk of contracting the disease and they need to be careful as the wet season continues.

"All our cases this year have had risk factors," he said.

"Indeed, over many years, we have never had anybody die from melioidosis who has been a healthy person.

"The most important risk factor of all is diabetes and the second most important risk factor, which seems to be on the increase in our cases, is hazardous alcohol use."

Melioidosis is caused by bacteria that live below the surface of soil during the dry season."

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