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Friday, August 24, 2012

Bacteria related to TUBERCULOSIS found in water is behind nationwide outbreak of tattoo infections

Scientists discovered that ink diluted with bacteria-tainted water is to blame for more than four dozen cases involving infected tattoos that have been reported in at least four states.

According to researchers, the largest cluster of cases was in Rochester, New York, where 19 people ended up with bubbly rashes on their new tattoos which they got from the same artist.

The investigation into the outbreak started last fall when a 19-year-old man from upstate New York got a stubborn rash that would not go away.

Tests showed that the infection was caused by a distant bacterial relative of tuberculosis called Mycobacterium chelonae.

While not life-threatening, the bacteria can cause itchy and painful pus-filled blisters that can take four months or longer to clear up, and involve treatment with harsh antibiotics with unpleasant side effects. Read More