Seafood in NYC Chinatowns Linked to Rare Skin Infections

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At least 30 people have been identified as victims of a rare skin infection after handling live or raw fish purchased at markets in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens Chinatowns, report New York City health officials.

The source of the infection is Mycobacterium marinu, which enters the skin through small cuts or scrapes. Symptoms include small red bumps that can turn wart like and swelling under the skin of hands and arms.

Officials are warning customers and employees in the area to wear protective waterproof gloves when handling live or raw seafood that came from markets in Chinatown.

Treatment for the infection requires one or more antibiotics, and only a few specific antibiotics work, so treatment should begin quickly, the health department says. If untreated the infection can worsen and may require surgery.

Anyone with symptoms is urged to see a dermatologist or infectious disease physician.

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