Eighty-four people have suffered from serious infection and seven of them died over the past five years from Vibrio vulnificus
bacterial infections resulting from careless cleaning of certain kinds of fish, the Health Ministry said on Sunday. The statistics were a warning before large numbers of fish specifically amnoon (musht), denise and levrak are purchased and prepared for Rosh Hashana
, when eating fish is a Jewish tradition.
Symptoms of Vibrio infection include sharp pain, blisters, swelling, subcutaneous inflammation and in some cases hemorrhaging. The ministry called on the public to purchase fish only from licensed establishments; to make sure that fish on display are kept on a bed of ice chips; not to buy fish directly from fish ponds or from open stands where they are not properly refrigerated; not to have any direct contact with live or fresh fish; and always to have the fish cleaned by a professional instead of doing it yourself.
People with weak immune systems and those suffering from chronic diseases such as liver disorders, kidney disease, diabetes, AIDS and cancer, as well as those with open sores on their hands, should avoid all contact with uncleaned fish.