Reports of flesh-eating bugs near Sydney

Dec. 5, 2009 at 2:41 PM
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ROSEVILLE, Australia, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A fishing guide said he is one of the victims of flesh-eating organisms that exist in Middle Harbor outside Sydney.

Des Toms said he caught a staph infection at a Middle Harbor boat ramp in the Sydney suburb of Roseville and the infection ultimately cost him two toes, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in its Sunday edition.

"I was in the emergency department fighting for my life and leg as the flesh-eating Staphylococcus bug took hold," the 51-year-old fishing guide said. "Miraculously, they saved my leg but I lost two toes."

Health authorities confirmed they also received multiple reports of suspected staph infections around Sydney Harbor last year. New South Wales Health officials have not determined how many of those infections were due to water-borne bacteria.

Meanwhile, Toms offered a simple piece of advice.

"The average happy-go-lucky office worker walking around Roseville on the weekend with bare feet is at very high risk of catching something awful," he told the Morning Herald. "Wear shoes."

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