NYC Warns of Chinatown Skin Infection Outbreak From Handling Raw Fish

New York City is seeing an outbreak of 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, officials said.

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.

If the infection goes deep enough, surgery may be necessary.

Officials say 30 cases have been identified, and all of those report handling live or raw fish bought at markets in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens.

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 these markets are not at risk.

Contact Us