Australian wool production is in a precarious position after an Australian wool farmer is said to have suffered a rare, life-threatening condition called cotton wool dementia.
A report released on Thursday by the Australian Wool Council found the farmer, whose name was not released due to a health and safety policy, was in a condition known as “cotton fever” and was being treated for a disease known as cotyledonas syndrome.
The council’s report said it was “extremely worrying” the condition was not being taken more seriously in the Australian wool industry, and the Australian Government has promised to ensure a national response to the epidemic.
Cotton fever is a condition in which wool becomes infected with a virus that causes the wool to turn yellow and eventually die.
The disease was first discovered in the late 1800s and has now spread to Australia’s other major wool producing countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and England.
Cotyleras syndrome is a disease in which the body becomes infected by a virus.
It is not contagious but can be fatal if not treated quickly.
The report also highlighted the “preliminary” diagnosis of cotysdosis and other symptoms from cotytodonas.
It was not immediately clear how many Australians had contracted the disease.
A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Agriculture said: “We are working closely with WoolCo and WoolCo Australia to investigate the cause of the cotyrats, including the potential of a second, more serious condition.”
WoolCo said it has “a robust team of trained health and compliance experts” at its disposal.
The spokesperson said the company is currently investigating the potential for the cotton fever epidemic in other countries, including Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and Mongolia.
The Australian Wool Federation has been in contact with Wool Co Australia about the report.
A WoolCo spokesperson said:”As WoolCo’s global supply chains are fully integrated, WoolCo can not comment on the individual country and individual cases.”
Wools are a major industry in Australia and exported to more than 200 countries.
The global industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with Australia losing a record-breaking 27 million tonnes of wool last year, the equivalent of the entire global market for the year.