Buruli ulcer, a skin disease most commonly found in Africa, have surged by 400% in the last four years across the globe, experts say.
Infections have also become more severe and spread to new areas.
Doctors do not know how to prevent the disease, which is caused by bacteria that breaks down tissue.
Infectious diseases expert Dr Daniel O’Brien said cases of the Buruli ulcer, or Mycobacterium ulcerans disease, had become “frighteningly more common and also more severe”.
What is the Buruli ulcer?
- A skin disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans.
- The bacteria emits toxins that destroy skin cells, small blood vessels and the fat under the skin, leading to ulcers forming and skin loss.
- The ulcer gets bigger with time and can lead to permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Usually affects limbs but can also be found on the face and body.
- Doctors do not know how the disease is transmitted to humans but it’s believed to arise from the environment and soil.
- There are also theories that mosquitoes can carry the bacteria.