Deadly flesh-eating bacteria traced to NT river

Another story from ABC.
An article published in a British medical journal has found three people have died from flesh-eating bacteria after swimming in rivers in the Boorroola region, south-east of Darwin.

The report, written by Northern Territory tropical disease specialist, Dr Bart Currie, details four cases that were detected over seven years from 2000.

In each case, the patients’ legs were ravaged by a flesh-eating bacteria after coming into contact with rivers in the area, including the McArthur River.

In May 2001, a 63-year-old man died 18 days after his legs were exposed to the waters of the Weirian River while fishing.

In July 2000, a 55-year-old man also died two years after suffering a similar infection.

A 19-year-old woman died in the same area within 24 hours of contracting the disease after swimming in one of the rivers.

In 2003, a 38-year-old man with no medical history, had his lower left leg amputated after suffering a similar infection.

The report found high levels of zinc, lead and copper in the river down stream from the McArthur River mine.

The ABC contacted mine owner Xstrata, who says it is aware of the report but is unable to comment.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1859862.htm

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