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Health Unit Investigates Reports of Unusual Skin Infection

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has launched an investigation after receiving reports about a number of people in the Campbellford area with an unusual skin infection that causes red, tender bumps and lesions on hands and arms.

Based on early information, it appears the infection is caused by Mycobacterium marinum (M. marinum) and may be linked to handling raw shrimp.

M. marinum is a slow growing mycobacterium that is found in salt water and fresh water. M. marinum infections produce red, painful sores on hands and arms. M. marinum is most commonly found among aquarium cleaners, fishermen and seafood handlers but has also been associated with handling raw fish/seafood during food preparation. 

There is no known risk of M. marinum infection from eating fish or seafood and it cannot be spread from person-to-person.

The Health Unit is working with area health care providers to identify and treat any additional cases. As well, members of the public who may have similar symptoms after handling raw shrimp are asked to see their health care provider. Anyone who is cleaning aquariums or handling raw fish/seafood in food preparation is encouraged to wear waterproof gloves and wash hands with soap and water.

For more information, contact the HKPR District Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 and speak with a Communicable Disease Control nurse.

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For media inquiries, contact:
Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, Medical Officer of Health, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100 or

Anne Marie Holt, Director, Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology and Evaluation, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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«January 2019»