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Woman Has Five Toes Amputated After Being Infected In A Fish Pedicure

Woman Has Five Toes Amputated After Being Infected In A Fish Pedicure

A 29-year-old Australian girl had her five toes amputated after trying a "Fish Spa" pedicure during her Thailand vacation. It has taken the Australian doctors as much as two years to detect a bone infection with Shewanella bacteria.

The Fish Pedicure or Fish Spa is one of the beauty trends of the feet of the moment. Increasingly used, the concept is simple: we dive our feet into a tray of water filled with small carnivorous fish that are happy to nibble the small dead skin and get a perfect pedicure without the slightest effort!

More and more appreciated, but more and more disparaged too! In fact, ANSES (the National Health Safety Agency) has prepared a report stating that Fish Pedicures are not without risk of infection. There is currently no real health regulation to regulate this care especially if we take into account the fact that the water used for pedicures can not be disinfected at the risk of killing fish and customers carrying germs or disease. bacteria can transmit them.

A young Australian amputee of her 5 toes
Victoria Curthoys, a 29-year-old Australian girl, bitterly bore the brunt of a "Fish Spa" she had been happy to enjoy during a trip to Thailand.

Having already had his toe amputated 4 years earlier after walking on glass, it seems that his Fish Pedicure would have arranged nothing and would have allowed the Shewanella bacteria present in the water used for the pedicure to infiltrate via the old surgical wounds.

It did not cause her any pain at first so she did not notice anything for a moment but it was already too late because the bacterial infection had spread to her bones. Suffering from many symptoms and a declining state of health, the young woman did not stop consulting and it took nearly two years to the medical profession to finally put a word on the said infection which gradually caused the amputation of all the toes of Victoria's right foot.

What is a Fish Pedicure?
The Fish Pedicure is the immersion of the feet in a pool filled with fish, which will operate gently to rid the feet of dead skin. In theory, before each Fish pedicure, it is checked that the person wanting to benefit from this special treatment does not suffer from an infection such as a wart or a fungus. Finally, the feet are disinfected and rinsed meticulously before being immersed in the pool provided for this purpose where several small Garra Rufa, also called "doctor fish", from Turkey and known for treating skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis in its natural environment will be happy to feed on dead skin in excess.

However, this practice entails health risks, particularly with regard to the spread of bacteria potentially present in water basins. The simple fact of the presence of fish in the pedicure trays, it is not possible to maintain a disinfectant water, which complicates the control of microbial risks.

ANSES (the National Health Security Agency) also states that there is a potential risk of transmission of pathogens of human or animal origin via fish or water, during the practice of Fish pedicure and has even issued an opinion on the assessment of the health risks associated with these practices, which highlights the obvious risks of contamination or spread of infections.

What is Shewanella?
Shewanella bacteria characterized by the presence of oxidase and thiosulphate reductase, opportunistic pathogens responsible for cutaneomucous infections, deep suppurations and bacteremia. The route of infection with Shewanella bacteria is more commonly associated with direct contact with the body by seawater or ingestion of raw seafood.

The bacteriological diagnosis can be made by a cyto-bacteriological examination of a urine (ECBU), a sputum (ECBC) with the intention of seeking the detection of the bacterium responsible for the infection. Macroscopic and microscopic examination may also be necessary.

Treatment of Shewanella infection requires an antimicrobial drug or hospitalization.

Preventing the risk of infection "Fish pedicure"
As advocated by ANSES, the prevention of the risks of bacteriological infections requires several rules of hygiene:

- the control of the water quality of the tanks and the general hygiene of the establishment;
- obligation of sanitary control of fish;
- informing the public of the dangers involved in this practice.
Fish Pedicure