2019 October: Mystery rash – Lara (Victoria). Unsubstantiated allegations of water causing problem

Hundreds of Australians are suddenly struck down by a mysterious rash – and doctors can’t work out what it is


Oct 11 2019

  • The incurable and ‘hive-like’ rash is spreading to towns more than 50km away
  • One resident said the rash was uncontrollably itchy and medication didn’t work
  • Doctors are at a loss, as residents report no amount of cream gets rid of it

    A small town is being plagued by a mysterious and incurable ‘hive-like’ rash, and it could be spreading.

    Residents of the Victorian town of Lara took to a private Facebook group last week to complain about a ‘pimply rash’ infecting at least 100 people in the area.

    But new reports suggest the rash has spread beyond the confines of the town, with reports of the condition affecting residents of Bacchus Marsh and Geelong – almost 50km away.

    Lara local Donna Leitch told the Geelong Advertiser her whole face has been covered in the rash since July, and doctors are at a loss.

They can’t tell me what it is, or what’s causing it – doctors just throw creams and antibiotics at you.’

Ms Leitch also said her daughter contracted the rash on her back, but that the condition cleared up on a trip to Melbourne.

It flared up again when she returned home to Lara.

More than 400 others commented on the Facebook post complaining of similar skin issues, with some describing the rash as ‘itchy and blistering’.

Some residents fear the issue could be related to the town’s water supply after many complained tap water appeared ‘murky’.

‘It always seems to flare up when I have a shower – I’ve never been so itchy in my life,’ said one Lara resident.

Others have had to request time off work, claiming the rash made them feel uncomfortable and fatigued.

One person said he has been covered in the rash for five months.

He contacted a dermatologist, but has been unable to get an appointment until 2020.

Many revealed authorities ‘laughed’ at them when they told authorities about their skin conditions.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services told Daily Mail Australia they are working with health services to better understand the issue.

‘We are satisfied that water quality standards are being met following testing conducted on the water supply by Barwon Water.’

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Barwon Water for comment, but the company previously issued a statement on Facebook.

‘Lara’s water is unquestionably safe,’ read the statement.

‘We have undertaken checks on our online instruments and routine sampling results for Lara and water quality is well within the guidelines.’