Mom Thinks 7-Year-Old Has A Mosquito Bite, Then Finds Out It’s A Flesh-Eating Ulcer

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Australian mom of two Amalia Spilman took her kids on a weekend getaway to Rye, on the coast of Victoria in April 2016.

As many of us are all too aware, enjoying beautiful scenery is often accompanied by the unpleasant presence of mosquitoes. Amalia’s youngest, 7-year-old Mia, received a nasty bite.

Having enough self-control not to scratch an itchy mosquito bite is hard enough for grown adults, which is probably why Mia’s complaints weren’t taken super seriously by her mom, who understandably assumed the bite on her daughter’s right calf was from a particularly pesky mosquito.

As it turns out, the bite wasn’t from a mosquito at all, but rather was the mark of a “flesh-eating virus that’s been plaguing the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne,” according to Kidspot.

When Amalia found out, she decided to share her and her daughter’s story to warn other parents.

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Here’s a rundown of exactly what happened that should serve as a warning to parents: After their trip to the beach, Mia could not stop being bothered by the bite. “She was scratching away and it became red and raw,” Amalia told Kidspot.

Amalia brought Mia to the doctor, where she was given a course of antibiotics. When her condition didn’t improve they tried a second type of antibiotics, which also did not work.

Finally, Mia was sent to the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital in May. The doctors still couldn’t figure out what was wrong, misdiagnosed Mia, and sent her home again.

Amalia kept contacting doctors and was finally asked by one if they had been in a particular region of Australia recently — they had been vacationing there.

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When the connection was established, Mia was finally diagnosed with a Buruli ulcer.

The condition is very dangerous when left untreated and “can cause irreversible deformity or long-term functional disability,” according to the CDC.

The disease is most often found in tropical regions as well as West Africa and Australia.

Once properly diagnosed, Mia was given more rounds of antibiotics that more properly targeted her condition.

Amalia is frustrated that the diagnosis took so long, but thankful that the worst of the journey is over. She said, “I just hope it starts healing soon to reduce the scarring so she can get on her with life and start enjoying herself again!”

Since completing the three rounds of antibiotics prescribed to her over the summer, Mia has been on the road to recovery. This is especially thanks to the help of Professor Paul Johnson at Austin Hospital, who specializes in tropical diseases.

“He has been brilliant and his treatment plan has been effective,” Amalia tells LittleThings. “She was on very strong antibiotics for nearly three months. They are the same that they use to treat leprosy and tuberculosis.”

Although it has decreased in size, Mia still has the sore on her leg, as the condition takes a very long time to heal.

“A quick diagnosis would probably have been more beneficial to my little girl,” Amalia says. “She’s been going through [a lot] since May 2016.”

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