Striped Bass Fishing Site Map | Contact Us | Fishing Log Software | Fishing Online | Advertise
to UPLOAD: please register or login

Go Back Forums > Striper Information & Services > Reference Library
Forgot Password? Register Now!!

Reference Library Here you can find or post articles on interesting aspects of fishing in general.

Thread Tools
Old 11-24-2005, 08:22 PM
Striperjim's Avatar
Striperjim Striperjim is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 4,316
Default Fish Diseases Transmitted to Humans


I would like to briefly discuss fish diseases that can be
transmitted to humans. Some can be difficult to cure?some can be
quickly FATAL.

Bacterial Diseases
More common

ERYSIPELOTHRIX RHUSIOPATHIAE, also known as erythema migrans,
aka (fish-handler's disease), fish poisoning, fish hand,
sealer's finger, whale finger, blubber finger,
etc..?Disease primarily occupational
?..people handling animals or their wastes can get, e.g.: butchers,
meat-processing workers, animal
caretakers, farmers, fishermen, veterinarians, cooks/housewives, sewer
workers, etc. Can persist in frozen meats. Incubation 1-7 days. Fever,
malaise, pain in muscles & joints, severe headaches.
Infections can go internal to C nervous system/heart. Most commonly
seen on hands----can lead to acute arthritis of
finger joints. ..Bacterial infection through break in skin.
Carried by many animals, including dolphins, shellfish, and fish.
Also known as "diamond skin disease," where
diamond-shaped welts occur on the skin due to infection. Effects
usually benign, but can be fatal.
Systemic treatment is with antibiotics.

Mycobacterium Marinum, Fish handler's
disease aka Fish TB suffers an exaggerated reputation
because several infections that aren't
mycobacteriosis get lumped together as
fish handler's disease The bacteria are also
carried by crabs, oysters and can even be transmitted
if a fisherman gets scratched or stabbed by a barnacle l
ying in infected water. By dipping their hands in
a bucket of fresh water mixed with antibacterial dish soap,
fishermen can ward off some infection also called fish tuberculosis,
fish tank granuloma,
swimming pool granuloma. ?Related to human TB and leprosy.
Bacteria are very resistant to treatment. Usually occurs on
extremities (hands, feet). Entrance through wounds.
Incubation ranges from 2 days to 2 years; usually
takes about 2 weeks for granuloma to appear at
site of infection. Infected area may be pink to
purple in color, may discharge pus, and may be painful to
touch. Treated with human TB drugs (local doctors have used
minocycline, rifampin, ethambutol,
and biaxin); can take a long time to cure (year or more). People have
fish TB from fish spine punctures, cleaning fish/shrimp/crabs, getting
scratched on fish tanks,
from rose bushes and injuring bare feet in parking lots (infected water
transferred via air during storms),
mouth-siphoning fish tanks, dolphin bites, diving around reefs,
splinters from fish net handles, etc.
Usually not fatal. Can get into joints and mimic arthritis or carpal
tunnel syndrome. Most
frequent type of aquatic infection seen.
VIBRIO infections. Several species can infect humans: V.
ALGINOLYTICUS (wound infections),
V.DAMSELA (wound/systemic infections), V. PARAHAEMOLYTICUS
infections),V.VULNIFICUS (wound/gastroenteritis/systemic infections).
Systemic infections with
vulnificus or damsela can be rapidly FATAL, or lead to limb amputation..
Systemic infections gotten
through wounds. Incubation of vulnificus is 1-5 days; median time is 28
hours. Symptoms include
high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low
blood pressure, seizures, fluid-
filled skin lesions, etc. Gastrointestinal infections via ingestion of
vulnificus (eating raw oysters, etc) and
other species of Vibrio can cause rapid dehydration, and can lead to
systemic infections if bacteria enter
blood. Vulnificus can multiply so rapidly that blood vessels and
organs get clogged?sometimes leading
to amputation or death. Antibiotics utilized have been tetracycline,
ampicillin, penicillin, gentamycin,

SALMONELLA?.over 1600 serotypes identified. Infection by ingestion.
Carried by many types of
animals. Mild to severe gastroenteritis. Can by fatal thru rapid
dehydration, septicemia, focal infections.
Incubation is 7-72 hours. .

MAD FISH DISEASE?..caused by Streprococcus Iniae. Recently reported
from handling
tilapia. Infection via puncture wounds. Can cause fever, shaking,
meningitis, arthritis, and skin/blood

To protect yourself----do not handle organisms/water/tanks if you have
skin breaks; do not
dive if you have skin breaks; do not mouth-siphon tank water, do not
ingest raw seafood, etc.
Wash hands,etc. well after working on tanks, with seafood, and after
diving. If punctured, or injured
under water, allow the wound to bleed freely for a while to expel
injected bacteria, then sterilize and
protect wound.

Those people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for
getting the previous infections.
So people with AIDS, diabetes, liver dysfunction, kidney problems, or
undergoing cancer treatment,
etc. should be especially careful.

(SEE: Hubbert et al. Diseases Transmitted from Animals to Man. Charles
C. Thomas, Publisher.
ISBN 0-398-03056-1)

Toxins produced by RED TIDE organisms and Pfiesteria Piscicida can
affect humans in various
ways. PFIESTERIA exposure can lead to skin sores, memory loss,
narcosis ("drugged" effect),
reddening of eyes, severe headaches, blurred vision, nausea/vomiting,
difficulty in breathing,
kidney/liver dysfunction, severe cognitive impairment (can't remember
name, address, etc), etc.
Relapses have happened 6 years after initial exposure. PFIESTERIA is
now classed as a
BIOHAZARD III, and can be researched only in specially-equipped labs.

Parasitic Diseases and Harmful Algae
Several parasites can infect humans as non-traditional
hosts. They enter humans by ingestion of raw or
undercooked infected fish. Infection can be caused
by trematodes and nematodes. Harmful algae
(dinoflagellates and diatoms) may also accumulate
in shellfish. Clinical signs can include gastrointestinal,
muscular aches and neurological disorders.

Viral Diseases
Shellfish, such as oysters, mussels and clams can
bio-accumulate viral pathogens from polluted waters.
The consumption of contaminated shellfish has
caused gastroenteritis, respiratory illness,
fever and hepatitis.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-25-2005, 03:58 AM
Striperjim's Avatar
Striperjim Striperjim is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 4,316
Default Sea Creature Injuries and Fish Poisoning

Sea Creature Injuries and Fish Poisoning

How do I treat jellyfish stings?

Take off any visible tentacles. Use gloves or a towel so that you do not get more stings. Jellyfish tentacles keep stinging even if they are not attached to the jellyfish and even if the jellyfish is dead. The tentacles are the long stringy parts that hang down under the jellyfish body.
Put salt water or vinegar on the area for 30 minutes or until the pain stops. Do not use fresh water. That will make the tentacles sting again and give you more pain. Ice packs are good for easing the pain.
See a doctor if the pain lasts for more than one hour, if you feel faint, or if you have trouble breathing.
Treatment of Severe Allergic Reaction to Jellyfish
Remove any remnant of allergen (i.e., jellyfish tentacles, foreign material)
Epinephrine injection, if available
Decadron injection or tablets
Antihistamine, if available
Wash out wounds or injury with alcohol, vinegar or sea water
Call for help and immediate transport
Treat for shock
CPR if no pulse or respirations
Keep warm
Pain relief, if available

How do I treat a sea urchin sting?
Soak the stinging area in hot water to ease the pain. Have a doctor see if the sea urchin's spine has to be surgically removed. Do not try to take the spine out by yourself. The spines break easily, and you are not likely to be able to remove all of the spines that are in your skin.

Salt Water Catfish
The fins of the saltwater catfish have a complex toxin made up of a mix of high molecular weight proteins and low molecular weight compounds. Like many marine toxins, this venom is believed to be denatured at temperatures above 105 F.
Besides intense pain that appears to be out of proportion for the physical injury, systemic symptoms can occur but are rare. They include muscle cramps, tremor, fatigue, syncope and even CV collapse. Treatment in the ER consists of immersion of the body part in hot water at approx. 110 F, debridement (cleansing) of the wound completely and liberal irrigation with hot water. Tetanus coverage is provided. It's a good idea to treat with antibiotics that cover Vibrio vulnificus, usually a 3rd gen cephalosporin.
Severe allergic reactions can occur. If you are in a boat and cannot get to hot water, a good preparation to use is a paste of baking soda and meat tenderizer. This paste is also said to be effective for jelly fish stings.

How do I treat a stingray injury?
Put direct pressure on the injury to control heavy bleeding. Call an ambulance. If there is only a little bleeding, soak the area in hot water to help ease the pain. Be sure to see a doctor for follow-up care. Your tetanus shot will have to be updated.

What is fish poisoning?
There are two kinds of fish poisoning.
Ciguatera (say this: seeg-wha-terra) poisoning happens when you eat reef fish that have eaten a poisonous food. This poison, a toxin, does not go away when the fish is cooked.
Scombroid poisoning can happen if a fish was not properly cooled after it was caught. A substance like histamine builds up in some fish when they get too warm. If you eat them, you react to the histamine that is released in your body

Who gets fish poisoning?
Anyone who eats fish can get ciguatera or scombroid poisoning. Fish poisoning is more common in Hawaii, Florida, New York, Washington, and Connecticut.

How can I tell I have ciguatera or scombroid poisoning?
The symptoms of ciguatera poisoning are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and numbness. You may notice a change in your ability to feel cold. You will think something feels hot when it really is cold.
The symptoms of scombroid poisoning are similar to other allergic reactions, such as flushing, nausea, vomiting, hives, and difficulty breathing.
There are no blood or lab tests for these poisonings.

How is fish poisoning treated?
Ciguatera poisoning is treated with medicines that help ease your symptoms. There is no medicine that will cure the poisoning. The symptoms go away over time.
Scombroid poisoning is treated like other allergic reactions with medicine that blocks the histamine in your blood. If you get scombroid poisoning, it does not mean you are allergic to fish.

How long can I expect to be sick?
The symptoms of ciguatera poisoning last for one to two weeks. How long they last depends on the amount of toxin you have in your body. The symptoms can come back any time you eat an affected fish.
The symptoms of scombroid poisoning last six to eight hours after you eat the toxin. The symptoms can come back any time you eat fish that has not been refrigerated properly.

How can I prevent fish poisoning?
To avoid ciguatera poisoning, don't eat the fish that often carry the ciguatera toxin. This includes amberjack, grouper, snapper, sturgeon, king mackerel, barracuda, and moray eel.
The poison is more concentrated in the internal organs, like the liver, so you should never eat them.
To avoid scombroid poisoning, don't eat any fish that has not been refrigerated properly.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor.

E Medicine: Instant Access to the Minds of Medicine
Web site address:

Divers Alert Network
Web site address:
Telephone: 1-800-446-2671
Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2005, 06:02 AM
JakeF's Avatar
JakeF JakeF is offline
Pro Staff
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Bedford, MA
Posts: 5,854

Good posts Jim! Great info!
Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2007, 01:50 AM
Striperjim's Avatar
Striperjim Striperjim is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 4,316
Default Re: Fish Diseases Transmitted to Humans

Attached Images
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke
Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 04:37 PM
babesledoll babesledoll is offline
Official Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Thumbs up Re: Fish Diseases Transmitted to Humans

thanks for the info......
Reply With Quote


diseases, fish, humans, transmitted

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LE, FISH LE, FISH STRIPERS ARE HERE! ELIASV New Jersey 1 09-16-2005 05:59 PM
55gal fish tank for sale. **( fish included )** Plum Island Buy - Sell - Trade 2 07-08-2005 10:50 PM
Ahh! Diseases!! kkevvy Sweetwater Fishing -Freshwater Stripers 16 10-18-2004 10:09 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2013 LLC
Affiliated Sites:
© 2011 Noreast Media, LLC | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertise