• January 23

  • January 3This is a test breaking news headline.

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Australia, Watch Out!

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Victoria, Australia is experiencing a bit of a problem right now. Any time an article states that “doctors don’t have answers” and that something is a “mystery”, it strikes a bit of fear into people’s hearts. Many doctors in Australia have urgently asked for government funding to further their research on Buruli ulcers. So far, they’ve found practically nothing.

Buruli ulcers have been spreading in Australia-50% in the past year. According to the CDC, Buruli ulcers are “a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans.” It’s a flesh-eating bacteria that’s frightening just by its name. Scientists don’t know how it’s transmitted-it could be through the water or through insects; they have no idea.

Many animals such as koalas, dogs, alpacas, and horses in Victoria have suffered from the flesh-eating ulcers. No one is safe. The ulcers cause your skin to swell and scab up. It literally destroys skin tissue.

The World Health Organization stated that “the mode of transmission is unknown and there is no prevention for the disease.” We are so accustomed to the thought that the doctors have all of the answers. There are few cases in which so many aspects are labeled “unknown.” There aren’t that many cases of Buruli ulcers throughout the world, but the numbers are increasing. Most cases are in Africa, but as is evident in Australia, it is spreading to more populous areas.

I saw a picture on a Newsweek article about Buruli ulcers, but I’m not going to put it on here because it was quite graphic. It was of a young African girl from the Ivory Coast, and her legs were largely decimated by the ulcers. The picture I have chosen to put on this article (above) is nothing compared to what she has had to suffer.

These ulcers don’t just affect the skin; since the ulcers cause the infected areas to swell up, it hinders any joints beneath the surface. The girl’s feet were completely covered with the ulcers and dying flesh, so she was helplessly immobile.

I’m so grateful that I live in a society where assistance is available everywhere. Buruli ulcers are treatable with antibiotics, but in many places antibiotics aren’t commonplace. There are hundreds of people working day and night trying to find the sources to mystery diseases.

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Australia, Watch Out!