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Aquariums Can Make You Sick December 10, 2004 1:21 AM

(HealthDayNews) -- Fish, toads, frogs and other sea creatures may be fun to keep in your home, but they can make some people sick. A germ called mycobacterium* -- often present in aquarium water -- can cause illness among people with weak immune systems, such as those who have AIDS the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Very young children, the elderly and people with other chronic illnesses may also be susceptible, the CDC says. Source: HealthDay *Mycobacterium seems to be a germ responsible for pulmonary illnesses, such as turbeculosis. Mycobacterium avium complex is common in water, however, I'm not sure if this is the germ strain associated with aquariums.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
WAIT! It's Not Mycobacterium Avium Complex! December 10, 2004 1:28 AM

I found another article. MYCOBACTERIUM MARINUM What is Mycobacterium marinum? Mycobacterium marinum (M. marinum) is a slowly growing bacteria that may cause disease in fish and people. The bacteria is normally found in bodies of fresh or salt water in many parts of the world. Skin infection with Mycobacterium marinum is relatively rare and is usually acquired from swimming pools, aquariums, or fish-handling. This bacteria does not grow at normal body temperature. That is why it remains localized to the cooler skin surface. How does a person get infected with it? Human infections with M. marinum under normal circumstances are rare. However, people who have breaks in the skin such as cuts and scrapes are at increase risk: * when in contact with water from an aquarium or fish tank * when handling, cleaning, or processing fish, or * while swimming or working in fresh or salt water. One form of the infection, known as "swimming pool granuloma," can occur when there is inadequate chlorination of swimming pools. However, in the US, most human infections with this bacteria have been associated with contact with fish tanks . M. marinum infection is not spread from person to person. What are the symptoms? When M. marinum infects the skin, it causes localized microscopic nodules to form. These nodules are called granulomas. They occur at sites of skin trauma where there are scratches, cuts, and the like. The granulomas usually appear within 2-3 weeks of exposure. Some reported cases have developed 2 to 4 months or more after exposre to M. marinum because of the very slow-growing nature of this bacterium. The most frequent sign is a slowly developing nodule (raised bump) at the site the bacteria entered the body. Frequently, the nodule is on the hand or upper arm. Later the nodule can become an enlarging sore (an ulcer). Swelling of nearby lymph nodes occurs. Multiple granulomas may form in a line along the lymphatic vessel that drains the site. These lesions will usually spontaneously heal in several months. This infection can also involve the joints (septic arthritis) and bones (osteomyelitis). A health care provider should be consulted if a skin nodule or reddened sore (ulcer) develops following direct skin contact with fresh or salt water or after handling or processing fish. For people with compromise of the immune system, M. marinum infection can be especially serious and involve disseminated (widespread) disease. If an infection is suspected under such circumstances, a health care provider should be promptly consulted.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 December 10, 2004 1:31 AM

How is this infection treated? Anti-tuberculous drugs speed healing. These drugs usually need to be taken for 3-6 months. The preferred combination of drugs is Rifampin + Ethambutol. Depending on the antibiotic sensitivity of the organism, alternative drugs are Rifampin + Clarithromycin, or Minocycline alone. How can I protect myself from this infection? To protect yourself from contracting an infection with M. marinum: * Avoid fresh or salt water activities if there are open cuts, scrapes, or sores on your skin, especially in bodies of water where this bacterium is known to exist. * If you have a weakened immune system, you can reduce the risk of infection by carefully covering cuts, scrapes, or sores during fresh or salt water activities and while cleaning fish tanks or handling, cleaning or processing fish. * Wear heavy gloves (leather or heavy cotton) while cleaning or processing fish, especially fish with sharp spines that may cause cuts, scratches, or sores to the hands and skin. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after fish processing or use a waterless cleanser. * Wear waterproof gloves while cleaning home aquariums or fish tanks. Wash hands and forearms thoroughly with soap and running water after cleaning the tank, even if gloves were worn. * Ensure regular and adequate chlorination of swimming pools to kill any bacteria that may be present. http://www.medicinenet.com/mycobacterium_marinum/article.htm  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
fish tank question please February 13, 2006 1:51 PM

I was thinking about setting up the small fish tank my child had in his room a long time ago. After reading this I am not sure anymore. If he does not clean the tank but only feeds the fish is he in any kind of danger of contacting this sickness? This seems like such a sill question but I don't want to put anything in his room that could cause him a problem. Thanks for your post and reply. Cj  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 13, 2006 2:05 PM

HMMMMM .....I WOULD BE A BIT HESITANT HERE... HOW CAN YOU BE SURE HE WONT DANGLE HIS FINGERS IN THE WATER WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN THERE COME ON HOSTS....ENABLE THE HTML OPTION PLEASE....I HAVE TO E_MAIL POSTS TO MYSELF TO READ THIS TINY DEFAULT SIZE  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
fish tank question please February 13, 2006 2:46 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. If a child only handles the fish feeding and keeps his hands out of the water is there any danger? Cj  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
larger font? February 13, 2006 2:50 PM

I hope I was able to make the font bigger I tried. Let me know if it did not work. Sorry did not know the font was to small. Cj  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 February 14, 2006 2:30 AM

FONT SIZE.. THIS CAN ONLY BE INCREASED WHEN THE HOST ACTIVATED THE HTML OPTION. AS FOR YOUR SON AND THE FISH....I DOUBT IF THERE WILL BE ANY PROBLEM, BUT PLEASE REMEMBER CHILDREN CAN BE VERY DEVIOUS AND WE CANNOT WATCH THEM ALL THE TIME. IF YOU TAKE ALL POSSIBLE PRECAUTIONS, THEN I WOULD THINK ALL WOULD BE OKAY...ALSO IF YOU WENT FOR WARM WATER TROPICAL FISH, THEN SURELY THIS DANGER WOULD NOT BE PRESENT IN THE FIRST PLACE; AT LEAST THAT IS MY REASONING.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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