The number of New Yorkers suspected of having a rare skin infection that comes from handling raw seafood, causing skin lesions, pain and swelling to the hands and arms and even difficulty moving fingers, has more than doubled, officials said Wednesday.
The department said the number of reported cases has surged to 66, up from 30 last month.
Health officials are warning those 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 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 infections, which are treated with antibiotics, were reported to the Health Department by doctors, officials said.
The Health Department said those who eat seafood from the Chinatown markets are not at risk.