Three die from killer bacteria in NT

by Symptom Advice on February 14, 2012

THREE people have died from melioidosis in the Northern Territory, with a record 54 cases diagnosed part way through the wet season.

The highly infectious illness is prevalent in Australia’s north after heavy rain brings melioidosis bacteria to the surface from where it exists deep in the ground.People catch melioidosis when it enters their bodies via cuts and sores or by breathing it in when it is stirred up by the wind.It causes severe pneumonia and blood poisoning, and even with the best medical care about 10 to 15 per cent of people who catch the disease will die.Director of the Northern Territory’s Centre for Disease Control, Vicki Krause, said the 54 cases diagnosed was the highest number ever recorded by this date in the season.People at risk should stay indoors during heavy wind or rain, Dr Krause said. that included those who drank too much, had kidney disease, lung disease, cancer or were taking steroids."Symptoms of melioidosis can vary greatly but most commonly we see indications of pneumonia such as fever, cough and breathing difficulties," Dr Krause said in a statement.The symptoms can also include weight loss and sores that won’t heal.

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