The number of reported cases of a flesh eating infection are growing exponentially around the Victorian coast, and now spreading into the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

There have already been 49 cases reported in the last four weeks, which brings the total to more than 270 cases.

Back in 2013, there had only been 65 cases in total.

Doctors are concerned that with current growth patterns, the number of reported cases could reach 400 by the end of 2018.

The flesh eating Buruli ulcer usually occurs in tropical climates – Victoria is the only known exception so far.

The condition is spread by mosquitos and possums, and is caused by a bacteria which is known as the Mycobacterium ulcerans.


People in affected areas are being warned to wear long clothing, and insect repellant.