A horrifying flesh-eating bacteria is starting to spread in Australia.
Mountaineer Jan Smith from Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, has documented an open wound on her left ankle, which she claims she contracted after a mosquito bit her while she was gardening in early April.
Known as a Buruli ulcer, and technically called mycobacterium, the sore has resulted in the 72-year-old mother-of-three having to teach herself how to walk again.
The Daily Mail reports Jan went to hospital after experiencing crippling pain, but the wound was misdiagnosed and so the bacteria ate away at her flesh even further. It ate through her ankle’s flesh, fat, tendons and nerves for an entire month.
She said, ‘The bacteria suppresses your immune system and also emits a toxin and makes gangrene which starts to kill the tissue... You think it is a scab healing the wound but it is hiding gangrenous, dying tissue underneath.’
Jan is diabetic, which also affected the bacteria’s impact.
‘The bacteria got a big feed of sugar and they took a real grip – that’s why [the wound] got so big and deep,’ she added.
Buruli ulcer cases have more than tripled over the past five years with the bacteria believed to be spreading towards Melbourne via mozzies eating possum poo.