The National Security has issued a health warning of deadly fresh tilapia bacteria which can be found in Ghana if preventive measures are not put in place.

The confidential letter addressed to the Health, Food and Agriculture and Environment Ministries details the effects this bacteria will have if found in humans.

The poisonous bacteria, vibrio viulnificus, detected in Israel in October this year can also be found in fish pond water.

“Symptoms of infected persons include high fever, significant swelling of the area of infection and blood-filled blisters, that can lead to the amputation of infected person’s limbs,” the letter signed by National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, warned.

It said the poisonous microbe enters the human body through punctures either caused by fins and scales of contaminated tilapia. It is also through open sores coming into contact with fishpond water in which the bacteria may be present.

Consumers of tilapia have therefore been advised on the importance of live pond fish and ensure that fresh unfrozen tilapia are thoroughly cleaned of all scales and fins before being purchased.

“It is also recommended that only thoroughly cleaned frozen tilapia be consumed by the public,” the letter cautioned.