Skin infection causing lesions, pain and swelling to the hands and arms and even difficulty moving fingers spreads rapidly through NYC
By John Vibes
NEW YORK CITY (INTELLIHUB) — Health experts in New York are warning people who purchase raw fish and seafood at Chinatowns in Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn to wear waterproof gloves when handling those items, and to seek medical care if they discover red bumps on hands or arms.
The warning comes in the midst of an outbreak of a rare skin infection that is said to be spread through touching raw seafood.
The bacteria causing the infection is called Mycobacterium marinum and it gets into the body through a cut or other injury, the Health Department said.
The department said the number of reported cases has surged to 66, up from 30 last month.
“There are no cases in the medical literature of this type of infection from eating raw fish,” a Health Department spokesman said.
“For reasons that are not completely understood, the bacteria has a preference for infecting the extremities of the body, such as arms, hands, feet, or legs and only causes an infection when a person comes in direct contact with fish seafood or the water from a fish or seafood tank and they have a cut or injury on that extremity.”