Health authorities have warned the public to remain vigilant for a deadly tropical disease known as melioidosis.
The disease has killed two people and infected 22 others in the Top End.
Melioidosis is a disease caused by bacteria found deep in tropical soil and water, that can come to the surface during heavy rain.
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People and animals can get the infection through contact with infected soil, especially through skin abrasions, or inhaled dust and water droplets spreading through wind.
NT Health said six of the 22 reported cases of melioidosis since the start of the latest wet season in October 2023, were diagnosed in the past week.
Queensland authorities also warned people in flooded affected regions not to enter waters because of the risk of melioidosis infections.
So far in Queensland there have been nine confirmed melioidosis cases since the beginning of January, which Queensland Health said was high for that time of year.
NT Health warned more cases were expected and people living in tropical conditions should be aware of melioidosis symptoms.
“If left untreated, melioidosis can lead to severe pneumonia and blood poisoning, with around 10 per cent of infections leading to death,” NT Health said.
“Melioidosis most often causes lung infections presenting with fever, cough and shortness of breath but can also affect many variable parts of the body, causing abscesses.
“Skin sores that don’t heal can be caused by melioidosis bacteria.”
Annually, about 50 people are diagnosed with melioidosis in the Northern Territory, most of them between November and April.
During the October 2022 to April 2023 wet season, NT Health said there were an unusually high number of cases, with 87 people infected and six deaths.
NT Health advises people to take a number of protection measures when working with soil or water.
“Wear covered waterproof footwear when outdoors, wear gloves while working in the garden or a soil-based environment, wear a face mask while using high-pressure hoses around soil and paths,” it said.
“Wash then cover sores and abrasions with waterproof dressings. Seek medical attention early.”