Vic­tim lost leg in ul­cer hor­ror

Teen in cus­tody over prop­erty charges

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - DANIEL BATE­MAN daniel.bate­man@news.com.au

A MAN con­tracted such a se­vere in­fec­tion of a flesh-eat­ing bug while liv­ing in the Far North, he needed to have his leg am­pu­tated.

Doc­tors have de­tailed the ex­tra­or­di­nary case in the lat­est edi­tion of the Med­i­cal Jour­nal of Aus­tralia, as the bac­te­rial dis­ease Bu­ruli ul­cer – also known as Dain­tree ul­cer – is on the rise in re­gional Vic­to­ria.

There were 182 new cases of the dis­ease in the state in 2016, 275 in 2017, and 30 so far this year.

Ex­perts have called for ur­gent govern­ment fund­ing so they can fig­ure out how to con­tain the dis­ease, which also af­fects res­i­dents in the Moss­man-Dain­tree re­gion.

The bac­te­ria’s ex­act mode of trans­mis­sion to hu­mans has largely re­mained a mys­tery.

Doc­tors said that in July 2012, a 68-year-old man went to his GP in Bris­bane with a swollen and painful right an­kle.

They said other than hav­ing a nod­ule caused by the bac­terium my­cobac­terium ul­cer­ans cut out of his left fore­arm, the man was oth­er­wise well.

The ini­tial in­fec­tion was likely con­tracted while the man had been liv­ing in FNQ be­tween Fe­bru­ary 2010 and Novem­ber 2011.

Five months later, how­ever, the pa­tient de­vel­oped skin ul­cer­a­tion at the biopsy site, and re­quired bone and skin grafts.

“De­spite pro­longed an­tibi­otic ther­apy and nor­mal­i­sa­tion of in­flam­ma­tory mar­kets by March 2013, the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­enced per­sis­tent pain, and X-rays showed fail­ure of the bone graft to in­cor­po­rate into the talus (an­kle joint),” the doc­tors wrote.

“Af­ter ex­ten­sive mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary dis­cus­sions in­volv­ing the pa­tient, a be­low-knee am­pu­ta­tion was per­formed in June 2013.”

The doc­tors said that three weeks af­ter the pa­tient’s leg was am­pu­tated, he de­vel­oped an­other nod­ule over his left el­bow.

The nod­ule was cut out, and there was no fur­ther trace of the dis­ease.

“The pa­tient has adapted well to his pros­the­sis, re­gained full mo­bil­ity and is pain-free four years af­ter his am­pu­ta­tion,” the doc­tors said.

edi­to­rial@cairn­spost.com.au face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairn­spost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost

A 15-YEAR-OLD Ed­mon­ton girl is fac­ing a string of wil­ful dam­age of­fences al­legedly com­mit­ted across Cairns this month.

Po­lice will al­lege that dam­age was done to a car win­dow at West­court on April 2, as well as a win­dow at a Cairns City com­mer­cial premises the fol­low­ing day.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions also took place into a num­ber of graf­fiti in­ci­dents along Brown St and Scott St at West­court and Bun­ga­low, as well as dam­age and steal­ing in­ci­dents at a West­court shop­ping cen­tre.

Cairns Prop­erty Crime Squad of­fi­cers vis­ited a Bun­ga­low ad­dress just af­ter noon on Mon­day and the girl was taken into cus­tody.

She was charged with nine counts of wil­ful dam­age by graf­fiti, three counts of wil­ful dam­age and one count each of wil­ful dam­age by fire and steal­ing.

The charges re­late to of­fences al­legedly com­mit­ted be­tween April 2-15.

Pic­ture: BREN­DAN RADKE

EA­GER MINDS: Smith­field State High STEM stu­dents Tay­lor Salmon, James Starke, Chloe McLeod and Nathon Hil­ber built and tested a cat­a­pult as part of their engi­neer­ing chal­lenge.

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