Campaign warns of tropical disease dangersBy Penny Timms, Friday December 7, 2012 - 16:21 EDT
Darwin Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim says there needs to be greater public awareness of the tropical disease melioidosis, which claimed the life of her father in the 1990s.
Ms Fong Lim says her father, Alec, who was also a lord mayor of Darwin, died from complications associated with the soil-borne disease.
Authorities have launched a public awareness campaign about melioidosis and say the number of infections are on the rise.
Ms Fong Lim says the elderly, those with chronic illness and men are most at risk of contracting the disease.
"It's a constant reminder, please be careful," she said.
"We've also got more people who might be susceptible to melioidosis; people like myself."
The Lord Mayor is a diabetic and says her father also suffered from the condition.
Territory Health Minister Dave Tollner says the wet season disease is caused by a bacteria found in soil and dust, and generally enters the body through cuts.
It can also become airborne.
"Last year, 97 people in the Territory became infected with melioidosis," he said.
"Alarmingly, nine people died from it.
"In the last three years, rates of melioidosis have tripled in the Territory and it is becoming a real concern."
© ABC 2012
More breaking news
Sydney-siders have been spoilt for choice in the surf department over the past few days.
Severe thunderstorms sparked up just to the west of Lochington yesterday late morning, tearing through many parts of southeast Queensland into late last night.
A very cold airmass coupled with vigorous a low pressure system caused snow to fall to low levels in Tasmania last night and into this morning, leading to road delays and closures.