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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2005 Sep;53(1):39-45.

Clinical, microbiological, and epidemiological findings of an outbreak of Mycobacterium abscessus hand-and-foot disease.

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Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3.


In 2003, we identified an outbreak of clinically distinct lesions involving the hands and feet associated with a public wading pool in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A total of 85 cases were identified. The management and follow-up of 41 children and 1 adult patients is presented. Skin lesions occurred within a median incubation period of 29 days and approximately 88 days for the adult patient. Lesions resolved within a median of 58 days and approximately 150 days for the adult patient. Patients were treated with clarithromycin, topical antibiotic dressings, and/or incision and drainage of pustules or followed without treatment. All resolved without complication. The pool was closed and cleaned. The M. abscessus hand-and-foot disease is characterized by the onset, mainly in children, of tender, erythematous papules, pustules, and abscesses with a self-limited course. This is the first documented M. abscessus outbreak associated with wading pool exposure.

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