Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience and a medical advice columnist for Newsmax Magazine. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Are Marine Infections Serious?

Thursday, 22 Mar 2012 01:17 PM

 

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Question: I am a woman of 49. My hobby is my saltwater aquarium. I recently had a bad infection from a cut in my hand. When I went to the doctor, he put me on antibiotics. A test showed that I had a marine infection from a something called a mycobacterium. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Mycobacteria are a type of germ. There are many different kinds. The most common one causes tuberculosis. Still others cause infections that are called atypical mycobacterial infections. They aren't "typical" because they don't cause tuberculosis. Treatment to resolve the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection is to prevent damage to tissues and organs and usually involves taking more than one antibiotic for a prolonged period of time. The length of treatment depends on the results of the lab results such as AFB smears and cultures that are used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. It is crucial to take your medication for the time period recommended by your doctor, so that the germ is fully eradicated from your system.



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