Shire mozzie traps to help ulcer research


A SIX-MONTH mosquito trapping program is being conducted by Mornington Peninsula Shire to help eradicate the Buruli ulcer.

The measure is part the shire’s $20,000 in-kind support towards the federal government’s $1.5 million research program to help control and better understand the disease.

The study is being carried out by researchers from the shire, Melbourne University, Barwon Health and the Department of Health and Human Services.

They will look into how the bacterial infection is transferred from the environment to humans.

The mayor Cr Bryan Payne said the shire was committed to continuing its research into the ulcer and controlling the disease in the community.

“The shire has been supporting research into the spread of Buruli ulcer by conducting a mosquito trapping program for over six months,” he said.

“The shire will continue to monitor and survey mosquitos throughout the peninsula to find areas [that are] mostly affected, need intervention and to learn more about this disease.

“The shire will also continue to raise awareness of this disease to ensure our community is well informed and protected.”

The bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans is found naturally in the environment. It is not known how humans become infected, although it is thought mosquitoes have a role in its transmission.

Buruli ulcer has been a notifiable condition in Victoria since 2004, with a steady increase in cases on both the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas.

Early detection is important. Protect yourself from potential sources of infection, such as allowing soil to get into cuts and also insect bites.

Simple steps to protect yourself include using a picaridin or DEET-based insect repellent, covering cuts, washing and covering any scratches received outdoors, wearing gardening gloves, long-sleeved shirts and trousers when gardening, and preventing mosquitoes from breeding near the home.

The ulcer gets bigger over time, so early diagnosis and prompt treatment is important.  If you are concerned seek medical advice.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 8 May 2018


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