Ul­cer scare hits home

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - INBOX -

I grew up near Bairns­dale, my par­ents are still there and I visit fre­quently, yet I had not heard of My­cobac­terium ul­cer­ans, the “Bairns­dale ul­cer”, un­til I read “Bat­tle scars” (June 16-17). What a fright­en­ing story. Thank good­ness for peo­ple like Pro­fes­sor Paul John­son and sci­en­tists in gen­eral. Long may they be prop­erly funded and recog­nised for the vi­tal work they do. My par­ents’ house gets the odd pos­sum in its roof and it is in a mos­quito-prone area. I’ll be ap­ply­ing the in­sect re­pel­lent next time I visit. De­bra Bam­brook Pere­gian Springs, Qld

The ar­ti­cle on Bu­ruli ul­cer was very in­ter­est­ing. What struck me im­me­di­ately was the cost of treat­ment for the av­er­age pa­tient – $14,000. If this is the case, it shows that there are some very strange anom­alies in the Aus­tralian health sys­tem. Dr A. Ian Wil­son Kings Park, SA

This was a well-re­searched and in­for­ma­tive ar­ti­cle, but I was dis­tracted by the use of bac­te­ria as a sin­gle noun. Bac­terium is cor­rect. Frances Nel­son Tul­lim­bar, NSW

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