Amalia Spilman noticed the bite on her daughter’s leg in April after the family had visited Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
Spilman said she didn’t think anything of the bite at first, website KidSpot reported. But it continued to get worse, with redness spreading over her daughter’s leg. The leg became so sensitive that she couldn’t stand the weight of a bed sheet.
Nothing seemed to help the bite. Over the next three months Spilman’s daughter, Mia, was prescribed at least eight courses of antibiotics. The little girl even spent four days in the hospital.
At first she was diagnosed with cellulitis, but the doctors never investigated the underlying cause, Spilman said.
Finally, in July, doctors believed they had an answer. Mia had a Buruli ulcer, which has been associated with a flesh-eating virus that has been reported in 45 cases in Victoria. The disease has spread to other Melbourne suburbs such as Cheltenham, Bentleigh and Hampton, Australian website news.com.au reported.
The condition is serious, as worst-case scenarios could result in limb amputations.
Doctors explained to Spilman that the ulcer was like an iceberg because it looked small on the surface of the skin but was actually much larger.
Amalia was upset that the countless medical professionals she’d visited never asked if Mia had been to any of the affected areas, KidSpot reported.
“We could have got her diagnosed and treated much sooner if they had just asked the right questions,” she said.
Mia was placed on a 12-week round of antibiotics in July and put on the path to recovery, thanks to Professor Paul Johnson at Austin Hospital, whose specialty is tropical diseases. Spilman told LittleThings that his treatment plan has been effective.
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