Mosquitoes and possums may spread a flesh-eating disease in Australia

Some mosquitoes buzzing around parts of Australia could be ferrying dangerous cargo from possums to people: flesh-eating bacteria.

Of 13 mosquitoes from that species that had recently fed on an animal, two had sucked blood from both a ringtail possum and a person. That’s a small number, but such mosquitoes are probably rare, given that only about 200 to 300 cases of Buruli ulcer are reported in Australia each year, though cases are on the rise. In 2022, around 2,100 Buruli ulcer cases from 11 countries were reported to the World Health Organization.


By Manuel Lluberas

Internationally recognized entomologist with over thirty years of experience on the business architecture, capacity building, and community engagement related to mosquito population management, WASH, and other public health matters obtained in four continents. Skilled in directing and managing time-sensitive projects and preparing and presenting oral and written briefings in English or Spanish to senior country leadership. Expert in setting up and managing time-sensitive disaster preparedness and response projects to protect survivors and relief and reconstruction workers in the wake of emergencies and disasters. Published over thirty, peer-reviewed technical articles on mosquito population management and emergency vector control, wrote a column for Malaria World, contributed to the publication of two WHO’s operational pamphlets, and presented numerous lectures in Spanish and English on these subjects. Awarded the Meritorious Service Award by the American Mosquito Control Association for contributions to public health entomology. Finalist to the Rear Admiral Charles S. Stevenson Award for excellence in US Navy Preventive Medicine. Certified as remote pilot of small, Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS or drone). Spanish to English simultaneous interpreter.

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