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EXCLUSIVE | Extremely rare disease passed on by possum attack

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A Sydney woman is just the third Australian to catch a rare disease after she was bitten and scratched by a ringtail possum in early March.

She is still recovering from the highly contagious bacterial disease tularaemia.

NSW Health senior disease expert Keira Glasgow told Ben Fordham it is a rare and unusual disease with a slow recovery process.

“In about a week she started to develop these symptoms, including swollen lymph glands, fatigue and a sore throat.”

Ms Glasgow said people should avoid touching possums, particularly if they are acting strangely. 

“If you’re bitten or scratched by an infected possum then what you would expect to see is some kind of swelling in the site.

“Avoid contact with possums unless you’re a trained and licensed wildlife carer and if you see a possum that is behaving unusually or appears sick, contact your local wildlife group.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty