CHO Health Advicsory: Increased incidence of Buruli ulcer in Victoria

03 May, 2018

Status: Active

Date issued: 20 April 2018 (update to advisory of 30 November 2016)

Issued by: Dr Brett Sutton, Acting Chief Health Officer, Victoria

Issued to: Health professionals


Key messages

  • Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a growing concern in Victoria, with a steady increase in notifications since 2015, in people who have travelled to or live in endemic areas.
  • Early diagnosis is critical to prevent skin and tissue loss – consider the diagnosis in patients with a persistent ulcer, nodule, papule, or oedema and cellulitis especially on exposed parts of the body.
  • Follow the guidance in this Advisory on testing, making sure to take a dedicated swab reserved for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for the infection.
  • People of any age can get infected, and symptoms can occur four weeks to nine months after exposure to any endemic area; however there are very different levels of risk associated with the parts of Victoria that are endemic.
  • Buruli ulcer is a Group B disease and must be notified to the Department within five days of diagnosis.


Read the full alert: Increased incidence of Buruli ulcer in Victoria



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