An outbreak of a flesh-eating bacteria that can lead to limb amputations is plaguing several Victorian coastal towns.
The Bairnsdale ulcer outbreak is shaping to be the worst on record and there are fears the bacteria could be spreading.
Barwon Health deputy director of infectious diseases Daniel O'Brien said the condition had been detected from East Gippsland to Frankston and there was a also a strong concentration on the Bellarine Peninsula.
He said 35 cases had been recorded in Victoria this year compared with 20 at the same time last year and urged residents of affected areas, as well as visitors, to remain vigilant.
The bacteria is thought to be spread mostly by mosquitoes, but could also be caused by sandflies and other insects, or through cuts caused by thorns or bushes. Cuts that come in contact with mud or dirt can also become infected.
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