Avoid dangerous infection from touching fresh, raw fish

Being stabbed with fins, scales, or gills can cause the pathogens to enter the bloodstream.

By
September 21, 2014 05:47
1 minute read.
Fish

Fresh fish . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Health Ministry reminds the public (except for professional fishmongers) to avoid all direct contact with raw fresh fish to prevent infection with vibrio vulnificus bacteria that thrive in fish ponds and sweet water.

Being stabbed with fins, scales, or gills can cause the pathogens to enter the bloodstream.

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In people with weak immune systems, this may lead to infection, edema, sepsis, and even death.

The freshwater fish that are most commonly infected are mullet (buri in Hebrew) and sea bream (denis). There is no such danger with frozen or saltwater fish. The ministry said that in 2013 there were 12 cases of people diagnosed with vibrio infections.

There is no danger at all from touching properly cooked fish.

One should buy fish only at licensed markets. Make sure that fish on display are kept cooled on ice chips. Do not purchase them from fish ponds or open stands, where proper temperature conditions are not observed. Do not come into direct contact with live or freshly killed fish and do not purchase whole fish that have not been prepared properly by a fishmonger.

People with chronic disease, weak immune systems, or open cuts on their hands or arms should not touch fresh raw fish, the ministry advised.


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