Tip #1 Alaskan Medicine Chest - Salmon Poisoning
This tip is "must know" information for anyone planning to fish for, catch and handle any of Alaska's five species of Pacific salmon. Its a malady that all anglers are suseptible to and can become quite painful for the person if they happen to acquire it.
Salmon Poisoning - is a term loosely used by locals to identify infections caused by bacteria in open cuts or wounds, usually found in the area of the hands, fingers and thumb. It is a fast occurring infection that can appear overnight and makes it painful to flex and bend one's fingers and thumb due to the swelling and sensitive nature of the malady.
Alaska's Pacific salmon harbor a certain bacteria on their skin which is especially prevalent in the region of their mouth. Anglers landing and handling their salmon catch often hold their fish by inserting their hands and fingers in the gill and mouth area of the fish. The tiny needle-sharp teeth on the fish often will scratch and cut the angler's skin. If left untreated, these tiny cuts can become infected by the next day. A very similar infection occurs when scratched by coral while swimming in tropical waters....commonly called "coral poisoning." This is probably a similar strain of bacteria.
If on the other hand you wake up the next day and notice its very painful to bend your fingers, just apply the ointment to the infected areas (you can't miss them) and the condition should be corrected by the next day.
Thanks to an old homesteader out in Sterling, we have just received word that a diluted Clorox/water solution applied to the area will work. This brings to mind that Hydrogen Peroxide works well on Coral Poisoning cuts and just might work on Salmon Poisoning too.
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