Dirt, disease and Darwin

Sorry to disappoint you if you were looking for an item on infectious diseases and the hygiene hypothesis or evolutionary biology.

This is a timely reminder from fellow micrognauts and their supporters in the Northern Territory of Australia. They note that the bacterial cause of melioidosis (Burkholderia pseudomallei) is alive and well in Darwin and other parts of the Territory. In fact this year (2010) is looking particularly bad from the figures they have collected so far: 72 known cases and 10 deaths from melioidosis, mostly occurring in vulnerable people with underlying diseases known to predispose to this infection.

Figures for northern Queensland and Western Australia have yet to be published, but weather conditions across northern Australia this year are grounds for believing that the number of cases will be up in all three northern jurisdictions.

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