Even expert not sure of the cause
DAINTREE ulcer expert Professor John McBride attributes the increase in cases this year to the bumper wet season.
The James Cook University Professor said there are usually only two to three cases of Daintree ulcer reported each year, and the increase in the tropics correlates with an upsurge in cases of a similar ailment, the Bairnsdale ulcer, in Victoria.
“Bairnsdale is also reporting an increase in incidences, and they too had a very wet period early in the year,” he said.
“It seems to be several months between when someone receives a bite or scratch and when symptoms start to show.
“We are advising people that have a sore that’s not healing to see their doctor.
“The only treatment at this stage is excising the ulcer.
“The sooner they see the doctor, the smaller the ulcer and the less that has to be cut away.
“The longer it’s left, the bigger it gets.”
Prof McBride described the Daintree ulcer as a “fascinating condition” which authorities have limited knowledge of.
“We don’t know how its transmitted or why its restricted to a fairly small geographic area,” he said.
“I have heard reports of cases north of the river around Cow Bay recently.”