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Possums a person of interest in spread of flesh-eating ulcer

Australian native possums are to blame for the recent increase of Buruli ulcers in Victoria, spreading the bacteria being picked up by mosquitos.

As reported in the Herald Sun, mosquito culls will be deployed in an attempt to halt the spread of the mysterious flesh-eating ulcer.

Professor Tim Stinear, molecular microbiologist at the University of Melbourne, told Ross and John a more targeted, door-to-door control could be carried out.

“(It’s) something similar that’s done up north to control dengue,” Professor Stinear said.

“What we think is happening is Australian native possums are a carrier for the bacteria, in fact we know that’s true, and we think that’s boosting the numbers of the pathogen in the environment and the mosquitos are picking it up.

“So possums are a person of interest in the spread of the Buruli ulcer?” Burnso asked.

“Absolutely,” Professor Stinear replied.

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