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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How safe is Fish Foot Spa Therapy ?

Fish foot spas can spread HIV and Hep C (read this latest article from the website of www.dailychilli.com

Trendy fish pedicures could spread HIV and hepatitis C, officials warned.


The Health Protection Agency said risks from the foot-nibbling treatment are "low but could not be completely excluded".
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And it said those with diabetes, psoriasis or with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable and should never undergo the pampering craze.
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Infections and bacteria may be passed on by the tiny garra rufa fish themselves or through water used by a previous client and left unchanged.
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Blood-borne viruses like HIV and hepatitis could be transmitted if infected clients bleed in spa water that is used again.
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A report added that the risk is "extremely low, however, this cannot be completely excluded".
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An agency spokesman said last night : "We have issued this guidance because there are a growing number of these spas.
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"When the correct hygiene procedures are followed, the risk of infection is very low.

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"However, there is still a risk of transmission of a number of infections — this does include viruses like HIV and hepatitis."

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Some parts of the US and Canada have banned fish pedicures.
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Conventional sterilisation of equipment cannot take place because it would harm the fish.

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In its report after a six-month review, the agency said salons must follow "strict standards of cleanliness", and ensure water is changed after each client.
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They should also check customers for health conditions making them vulnerable to infection, and for cuts and grazes.

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Hundreds of high street beauty salons, malls, hairdressers and fashion shops offer the treat.

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Last night Christina Wright, boss of fish spa chain Appyfeet, accused officials of "scare-mongering". She added: "We worked for 18 months with the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities making sure our spas were of the highest standard."

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A spokeswoman for HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust said: "The risk of picking up infections is minimal but people must be careful where they choose to go." - www.thesun.co.uk

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