Fish Pedicures: Bacteria in Your Foot Soak

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There have been "only been a handful of infections reported" in Great Britain, said Georgina Fletcher, a senior spokeswoman for the Health Protection Agency, which has been evaluating public health risks of fish pedicures, also called doctor fish therapy, long practiced in Turkey, India and Southeast Asia.

In the United States, "there have been no published reports to date regarding illness from fish pedicures," the CDC said in a June 2011 document. "However, fish-free foot-baths in nail salons have been implicated in several outbreaks of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections, including the species Mycobacterium abscessus and M. fortuitum," which have left customers with boils and scars.

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