By Levi Parsons For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 07:32 BST, 15 October 2020 | Updated: 07:32 BST, 15 October 2020
Extreme weather patterns currently impacting Australia could see a surge in deadly ground-dwelling bacteria, an infectious disease expert has warned.
Professor Bart Currie says the onset of the La Nina climate cycle will trigger a rise in Melioidosis, also known as Nightcliff Gardener's Disease.
The illness has a mortality rate of about 10 per cent in the Northern Territory and can cause respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.
Extreme weather patterns currently impacting Australia could see a surge in deadly ground-dwelling bacteria
Professor Bart Currie says the onset of the La Nina climate cycle will trigger a rise in Melioidosis (pictured, a Bureau of Meteorology graphic highlights how La Nina works)
'It very much follows rainfall patterns, so that's why the prediction is we'll have more cases this year,' Professor Currie told the NT.
'They get activated during the wet season and move to the surface. These bacteria are very common across the Top End, particularly in all Darwin suburbs.'
The bacteria can get into the bloodstream through open wounds or by ingestion via dust or water droplets.
According to the The Bureau of Meteorology, La Nina weather patterns occur when equatorial trade winds become stronger, changing ocean surface currents and drawing cooler deep water up from