UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A flesh-eating ulcer is spreading quickly through parts of Australia.

Local cases of a skin disease known as Buruli ulcer have reportedly increased by 400 percent in the last four years in the state of Victoria.

And the 275 new cases recorded last year in the state marked a 51 percent increase over 2016.

An article published April 16 in the Medical Journal of Australia revealed the startling statistics.

The Buruli ulcer is most commonly seen in Africa. It’s caused by a bacteria that emits toxins that destroy skin cells, small blood vessels and fat under the skin.

The ulcers get bigger over time and can cause permanent damage and even death.

Experts think the bacteria may originate in soil and be spread by mosquitoes but they don’t know how to stop or prevent it.

Doctors are calling for the government to fund urgent research into what’s causing the ulcer to spread.