Health Ministry warns against infections from pond fish

Infections caused by bacteria from fish can be fatal; buy fish from licensed stores, not from ponds or stands.

Fish 311 (photo credit: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)
Fish 311
(photo credit: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)
With Rosh Hashana around the corner, the Health Ministry reminded at-home cooks to avoid serious and possibly fatal infections from hands being pricked by pond fish fins, gills and scales. Consumption of fresh fish soars during the High Holy Days and serious infections of Vibrio vulnificus bacteria are not unknown.
The affected fish include musht/amnun, buri and denis.
The entrance of the bacteria into the body through a puncture of the skin can result in serious pain, subcutaneous inflammation, edema and sometimes sepsis, which can result in amputation of a limb or even kill the victim.
Last year, the ministry’s epidemiology department reported on 11 cases of Vibrio vulnificus infection, although there were no deaths.
To prevent being harmed, purchase fresh fish only from shops with business licenses.
Make sure that fish displayed behind glass are kept on ice chips at -4 degrees Celsius.
Don’t buy fish directly from fish ponds or open stands in which suitable temperatures are not maintained. Purchase fish only that have already had their fins, gills and scales removed.
Anyone who suffers from a weak immune system due to disease or has open sores on his hands or arms should avoid all contact with fish.