Fish foot treatment can spread HIV and hepatitis C, the UK Health Protection Agency warns.
Treating fish by poking the dead skin on the feet is increasingly popular in the UK and many countries around the world. However, the British Health Protection Agency (HPA) warns that the treatment may spread some dangerous viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C.
British Health Protection Agency warns fish therapy
can spread HIV and hepatitis C.
In the announcement released on September 18, HPA recommends that people with diabetes, psoriasis or weak immune systems should not be treated with the foot-wringing method, because they are susceptible to infection most infected.
HPA has detected water in aquariums in UK treatment centers that contain a lot of bacteria. They believe that this will be a source of infection from one customer to another if the water is not replaced after each treatment.
According to HPA's notice, if a client is infected with HIV or bleeding hepatitis during therapy, the pathogen can be transmitted to therapeutic clients thereafter.'The risk of transmission is extremely low, but cannot be excluded,' warned an HPA spokesman.
Dr. Hilary Kirkbride, epidemiologist consultant at HPA, proposed solutions that require therapy centers to check their customers' health to ensure their legs are not scratched or skin-prone before down to the therapeutic aquarium.
Fish foot treatment is very popular in Asian countries before appearing in the US and Europe. However, this treatment has been banned in some states in the US, including Florida, Texas, New Hampshire and Washington due to the risk of spreading the disease through open wounds.