An outbreak of a rare infection of the skin has been traced in New York city, according to the city's Health Department.
The department was informed of 30 cases of infection caused by Mycobacterium marinum, a bacterium. These cases were reported by doctors while serving the Chinese population in the New York City. The infection traced to uncooked sea food purchased at fish markets in China town market.
Symptoms of the rare infection include tender and red lumps and skin swelling. At times, infected people developed pain or swelling in their arms or hands and faced difficulty in moving their fingers. Doctors have advised infected people to immediately consult a doctor and get treated with antibiotics, as early treatment with antibiotics can cure the infection.
All the victims said that they have handled raw or live seafood from one of the three large Chinese fish market - Brooklyn's Sunset Park, downtown Manhattan's Chinatown and Flushing, Queens.
""It is a pretty uncommon bacteria and usually requires that you have some kind of cut or wound on your hand or arm that serves as a way for the bacteria to enter your body. We're still in the process of investigating all of the cases, that includes interviewing them and finding out which markets they specifically shopped at and what types of fish they actually bought." 1010 wins quoted Dr Jay Varma, the health department's Deputy Commission for Disease Control.
"Because this infection can look like any other common skin infection, a number of people have gone weeks and sometimes even months before they've had an accurate diagnosis," Varma added.
Doctors are still in the process of investigating the outbreak, but have warned people to carefully handle the sea foods at the markets. The health department is advising people to wear waterproof gloves while handling raw fish from one of these market areas.
However, the department has notified that there is no harm or risk associated with consuming cooked fish.
(Edited by Vanilla Sharma)