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Something Fishy Going on in NYC’s Chinatown Markets


Posted on Mar 07, 2014

New York City’s Chinese seafood markets are apparently carrying fish and other seafood related items that are causing skin infections.

Fox news reports on the issues surrounding the seafood markets.

The skin infections are said to be directly caused by the seafood and they are apparently unusual and difficult to treat.

City officials said that thirty cases of infection have been reported in just the last couple of days. Fox news explains which bacteria is linked to the infection and what signs to look for.

“It is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium marinum, according to the city Health Department. Symptoms include red, tender lumps and swelling under the skin of the hands or arms. Those infected sometimes also develop swelling or pain in their hands or arms and have difficulty moving their fingers. Anyone who is infected should be treated with antibiotics, the department said.”

Everyone infected has one common trait.

“All the victims said they had handled live or raw seafood from fish markets in one of the city's three large Chinese enclaves, the department said. Those are in downtown Manhattan's Chinatown, Brooklyn's Sunset Park and Flushing, Queens. The Health Department is urging people to wear waterproof gloves when handling raw fish that came from markets in one of the three areas,” according to Fox news.

The skin infection is not life threatening but it is characterized as rare. Once the fish is cooked it can most likely be consumed without harming a person. China Partnership issued a statement saying, “People should wear gloves and wash their hands if they are handling live or raw fish from any neighborhood, not just Chinatown.” The company is defending the use of Chinatown markets’ seafood.

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Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer