The ulcer has been around for decades and is very prevalent in Africa.
The medical profession don't know a lot about the facts and figures on the ulcer but they are keeping track of it on the Mornington Peninsula because it is a notifiable disease and it's trending in this area. Dr Jon said the earlier you present with it, the more the chance of a good recovery. The treatment on ulcers that have been festering for too long can be very expensive, painful and drawn out. If you have an ulcer that won't heal and is growing in diameter, get a doctor to look at it. Ask your doctor about the possibility of it being Buruli Ulcer.
The ulcer starts when the bacteria gets under the skin. The most likely way it is carried is through insects, possum faeces and soil. It is not infectious. It has presented in ages from a baby to the elderly and even the fit and healthy. The immune system doesn't recognise it.
To minimise risk of getting an ulcer, Dr Jon suggests you take preventative risk management measures.
Protect yourself from all types of insects. They don't all carry the disease but best to be on the safe side.
Don't touch possom poo.
Wear gloves when gardening and wash your hands when you have finished. You will be particularly vulnerable if you have any sort of cut to the skin. IF the cut comes into contact with dirt, wash it vigorously with hot soapy water and apply a disinfectant.
Dr Jon's final comments were that we shouldn't be alarmed, just aware and take as many precautions as possible to minimise risk.