Contaminated seafood warning at Asian markets in Queens, Brookly - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Bacterial infection causing welts on people's skin

Contaminated seafood warning at Asian markets in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan

Posted: Updated:
NYC Health photo NYC Health photo
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - New York City health officials are warning consumers and food handlers about a bacterial contamination that has been traced to Asian fish markets in Flushing in Queens, Sunset Park in Brooklyn, and Chinatown in Lower Manhattan.

At least 30 people have contracted a bacterial infection after handling live or raw fish and seafood from those markets. The infection is caused by the M. marinum bacteria, which can be transferred from contaminated seafood through a cut in human skin.

Victims develop red, tender lumps or swelling under the skin of their hands or arms. Some develop pain and have difficulty moving their fingers.

Health officials say you cannot become infected by eating seafood with the bacteria nor can it be spread from one person to another.

These are answers directly from the NYC Health Department:

Q&A: Skin Infections from Live or Raw Fish or Seafood Bought at Markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens


What are the symptoms of this infection?


People who are infected develop red, tender lumps or swelling under the skin of their hands or arms. Sometimes people also develop swelling or pain in their hands or arms and have difficulty moving their fingers. If the infection is deep enough, surgery may be needed.

Who is affected by the infection?


The Health Department has identified 30 cases. All of the people interviewed say that they handled live or raw fish or seafood bought at markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens before their skin problems started.

What causes the infection? The infection is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium marinum (M. marinum). The bacteria can be transferred from contaminated live or raw fish or seafood into people's bodies through a break in the skin, like a cut. Some people infected with the bacteria had existing cuts on their hands when they touched contaminated live or raw fish or seafood. Others cut themselves while preparing contaminated live or raw fish or seafood (i.e., cutting a finger on a sharp crab shell or fish bone).

Can I get this infection by eating fish or seafood that carries M. marinum bacteria?


No.

Can this infection spread from one person to another?

No.

How is the infection treated? Infected people need to take one or more antibiotics to treat the infection. Only a few specific antibiotics can cure this infection. Treatment should begin quickly. Some people who were infected have been treated with traditional Chinese medicine or types of antibiotics that cannot cure the infection. If the infection isn’t treated correctly, it can worsen over weeks or months and may require surgery.

How did the Health Department find out about the infections?

Doctors serving New York City’s Chinese communities reported the infections to the Health Department.

What is the Health Department doing to stop the infections?

The Health Department is sharing information about the infections publicly. The Health Department has also notified the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Health Department.

How can I prevent this infection?

If you are handling live or raw fish or seafood, wear waterproof gloves. At a minimum, wash your hands with soap and water after you have handled live or raw fish or seafood. This is even more important if you already have cuts or other skin problems on your hands.

What should I do if I think I'm infected?

Tell a doctor you think you have an unusual skin infection (M. marinum) that occurs after handling fish or seafood. You can also call the Health Department’s Bureau of Communicable Disease at 347-396-2600 and ask to speak with a doctor.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:47:22 GMT
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
  • Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Security stepped up for Electric Zoo Festival

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:34 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:34:04 GMT
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
    Festival goers to one of the most popular events of the summer in New York City will see major changes this weekend.  The Electric Zoo festival featuring headliner David Guetta takes place Saturday and Sunday on Randall's Island. Organizers are expecting 45,000 people, daily. Last year's party was cut short after the deaths of  Olivia Rotundo, 20, of Providence, R.I. and Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, N.Y. 
  • Joan Rivers remains in NYC hospital

    Joan Rivers remains in NYC hospital

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:54 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:54:57 GMT
    Hollywood legend Joan Rivers, 81, remains in critical but stable condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. The comedian and TV host was undergoing an outpatient procedure at a clinic on the Upper East Side on Thursday when she went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, issued a statement saying her mother was "resting comfortably."

    Hollywood legend Joan Rivers, 81, remains in critical but stable condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. The comedian and TV host was undergoing an outpatient procedure at a clinic on the Upper East Side on Thursday when she went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, issued a statement saying her mother was "resting comfortably."

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices