Before the arrival of European settlers in Australia, the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, probably suffered from little disease. Among other things, European settlement has involved substantial environmental perturbation, introduction of large predators, introduction of motor vehicles and translocation of potential pathogens. As a result, platypuses are now killed by motor vehicles, dogs, foxes and discarded plastic litter. Information programmes targeting appropriate segments of the public would help reduce these unnecessary deaths. The enigmatic disease, ulcerative mycosis, caused by Mucor amphibiorum, has been the subject of scientific investigation in Tasmania for the past 15 years. The apparent recent acceleration in its spread has sounded a warning and more intensive investigation is warranted. The possibility that this pathogen has been translocated from subtropical to temperate Tasmania, Australia, with green tree frogs in banana shipments further emphasizes the role of humans in threatening the welfare of the platypus. Recommendations are made in relation to appropriate measures that could be taken to ameliorate disease and trauma in this species.