Prominent Charles Darwin University researcher and scientist, Professor Bart Currie has warned Territorians to play it safe and protect themselves from potentially fatal diseases this wet season.
The Menzies School of Health Research and Royal Darwin Hospital scientist said that diseases such as melioidosis could kill or leave victims extremely ill.
“The disease, caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, killed five people in the Territory during the wet last year,” he said.
"With more than 30 cases reported for the season, we are sending the message out now for people, especially those with risk factors, to be aware of this disease as most cases are in the wet.
"People need to be aware of the simple measures they can take to avoid contracting it."
Professor Currie said the bacteria lived underground during the dry season but after heavy rainfall could be found in surface water, mud and may also become airborne.
He said that people at higher risk, including cancer sufferers, diabetics, heavy drinkers and those with kidney and lung problems, should remain indoors.
“Contracting the disease is avoidable if people stay indoors and remember to wear protective clothing including waterproof gloves, shoes and boots when working outside.”