Erysipeloid(redirected from whale fingers)
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an infectious skin disease of humans caused by swine erysipelas bacteria. Domestic animals (chiefly swine) and fish are the sources of infection. Infection occurs through injured skin, mainly as a result of handling meat and fish. Edema and purple-dark blue coloration of the skin develop within two or three days at the site of penetration of the causative agent and then spread, producing pain. In some cases the lymph nodes enlarge, the interphalangeal joints of the hands become affected, and the body temperature rises. The disease lasts two or three weeks; recurrences are possible.
Treatment includes the use of antibiotics, ultraviolet radiation, and ichthammol ointment. Preventive measures include taking care to avoid injuring the skin when handling meat or fish. If injury occurs, the affected area should be treated immediately with a disinfectant, such as iodine or aniline dyes.