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  • New treatment tackle skin sores

    Author: AAP

Treating children for skin sores used to be very painful, but NT researchers have found a way to do it without the tears.

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Researchers have found a painless way to treat up to 95 per cent of children in indigenous communities for skin sores. »tweet this announcement«

The sores, caused by the Streptococcus bacteria, are currently treated with painful penicillin injections.

But a new oral treatment is just as effective, doctors from the Menzies School of Health Research have discovered.


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Omega Medical Pty Ltd
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Omega Medical Pty Ltd
Paediatrics Consultant
Omega Medical Pty Ltd

About 110 million children around the world suffer from skin sores and four out of five children living in remote Aboriginal communities have them at least once before they turn one.

They are caused when the bacteria enters skin broken by scratching insect bites, cuts from falling over or fungal infections such as tinea.

"Not all homes or places in the community have places where you're able to wash your hands regularly, and the more kids with sores, the more likely you are to come into contact with someone who has sores and then you get them, too," lead author Dr Asha Bowen told AAP on Wednesday.

Research has also shown that only five per cent of kids who really need the injections ever get it, Dr Bowen said, and often they hide when they have sores to avoid getting the injections which can hurt for two days.

The new treatment involves two oral doses of antibiotic per day for three days, or one stronger dose per day for five days.

The treatment will become part of NT and national health guidelines later this year, Dr Bowen said, and could be rolled out internationally.

It can also prevent the development of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), which is over-represented in indigenous communities and can cause long-term heart damage.

Copyright AAP 2014


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