The Northern Territory news Fri 22 Jun 2018
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
04 NEWS FRIDAY JUNE 22 2018 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 TERRITORY sporting icon Michael Long is out of danger after a tough bout with the infectious disease melioidosis. The 47-year-old has been in and out of hospital and confined to his home since February when the disease first surfaced. The former Essendon champion and 1993 premiership player and Norm Smith medallist put his recovery down to a big slice of luck and the expertise of Dr Bart Currie. If it wasnt for Dr Bart, a specialist in infectious diseases who picked up on it, it could have been a lot worse, Long told the NT News. Were very lucky to have the leading specialist in his field right here in Darwin. Unfortunately he barracks for Hawthorn but Ill let him go on that. Long was in hospital for three weeks and at home for another eight on a high antibiotic intake. The illness, combined with some other health complications made the battle with the disease a lot tougher than anything he faced on an AFL field. I could have got it from mowing the lawn, gardening or breathing it in; its a tropical disease that does not discriminate against anyone, Long said. And Im not the only one that has caught it this year, there has been a lot of people up here. I was the 42nd person to catch it in February when I thought it was just the flu. Long conceded he followed the usual male trend by not seeing a doctor when the symptoms first appeared. I got flu tablets and tried for a month and a bit to get better before eventually going to the hospital for some tests, he said. They couldnt find anything, but after talking to some friends and coming down with a high temperature they did some more tests and found where the melioid was. From there it was straight into hospital with a high fever and sweating profusely, I was pretty crook. Long will be on a heavy course of antibiotics for the next three months when a decision will be made to continue the medication or call a halt. Hopefully, if all goes well, Ill be off them and back to a normal life, he said. Ill play it by ear, do the right things and hopefully put all this behind me. Long wants the general public to be aware of the dangers associated with being in the garden and more importantly, working with soil during the Top End wet season. Gloves and shoes are a must to cover any nicks or cuts the disease can enter the body through, he said. So be aware we live in the tropics and it is a tropical disease. Long wanted to thank the many wellwishers who contacted him during his illness and assured them he would be in touch as soon as possible. His former coach and great mate Kevin Sheedy is at the top of the list. I havent spoken to Sheeds to congratulate him yet, though I might not be able to contact him because he is an AFL legend now, Long laughed. That will mean going through his secretary and leaving a message, hopefully hell get back to me after that. It was straight into hospital with a high fever I was pretty crook M I C H A E L L O N G Long road to recovery Territory sporting great on mend after tough battle with melioidosis Former Essendon footballer Michael Long has recently recovered from a melioidosis infection Picture: MICHAEL FRANCHI GREY MORRIS Make part of your weekend SATURDAY DONT MISS YOUR PLUS: CAMPING, FISHING, QUIZ, AND MORE TOMORROW REVERSE TOURISM TO SHENZHEN FEATURE OPINION: WITH MATT CUNNINGHAM AND KATIE WOOLF