Melioidosis disease warning

Central Australian residents have been warned about a potentially deadly disease called melioidosis. The bacteria that cause this disease are found in soil. This bacteria is especially dangerous when reaches the surface after drenching rains that begin in October. The heavy wet season has begun in the Northern Territory, and 1 infected person has been reported. More cases are expected.

Advice For Travellers

Person-to-person transmission is rare, and the risk for the general traveller is low.

In endemic areas, people are warned to avoid direct contact with soil, mud, and surface water. People should be more careful after flooding and cyclones and to be careful with the possible contamination of drinking water. Persons especially at risk are those with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, chronic lung disease, or an immune deficiency of any kind. There is no available vaccine.

After exposure to this bacteria combined treatment with co-trimoxazole and doxycycline antibiotics is recommended.

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