Tattoo Infections Linked to Contaminated Ink

There are a lot of unhappy newly inked people this week. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found at least 22 confirmed cases of skin and soft tissue infection due to contaminated tattoo ink. The cases have been found in New York, Washington, Iowa, and Colorado.  The bacteria got into containers when the manufacturer used distilled or reverse-osmosis water, which might not have been sterile. The New York cases were exposed to Mycobacterium chelonae, which causes raised bumps that appear similar to the effects of an allergic reaction. One of the largest reported outbreaks occurred in Rochester, N.Y., where 19 people exhibited rashes over their new ink. The FDA and dermatologists say that treatment for the infections can require months of taking expensive antibiotics. 

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