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Aeromonas Hydrophila

Aeromonas hydrophila is a bacteria found in all freshwater and in brackish water (mix of salt and fresh water). Some types of A. hydrophila can get people sick. A. hydrophila can also cause illness in fish, amphibians*, and other animals.


How can I get sick:   

  • Getting poked or cut while touching a fish that has A. hydrophila. 
  • Eating a fish that is sick with A. hydrophila 
  • Drinking water that has A. hydrophila bacteria in it.  
  • Handling a sick reptile or amphibian* and not protecting yourself.  
  • Having a cut or open sore and going into a lake, river, or stream.  

Symptoms in humans: 

Symptoms are usually seen in people who are already sick with another illness. The most common symptoms are: 

  • Feeling like you need to throw up 
  • Throwing up 
  • Diarrhea (runny poop) 
  • Blood or slime in poop 
  • Cut or sore that is red and itchy or is burning 

Symptoms in fish or amphibians:  

There can be many different symptoms such as:  

  • Sudden death 
  • They aren’t hungry or they stop eating.
  • Skin sores that have red tissue. 
  • Sick amphibians* may have discolored arms and legs, weight loss, and open sores.  

What can I do to stay healthy?  

  • Wear gloves when touching fish, especially in the wild if you’re cleaning the fish to eat.  
  • Use a bandage whenever you have a cut.  
  • Wash your hands after playing with reptiles or amphibians* and after cleaning their tank or equipment.  
    • Proper HandwashingWash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to scrub your thumbs, between your fingers and the tops and bottoms of your hands. Dry your hands with a paper towel.


  • If you are bitten or scratched by a reptile or amphibian* you should: 
    • Wash the bite or scratch with warm soapy water. 
    • See a doctor if:
      • The animal is venomous*. 
      • The animal looks sick.  
      • The bite or scratch starts to turn painful and red or has puss*.   


* Definitions: 

  • Amphibian: An animal that can live in water and on land (such as a frogs or salamanders).
  • Venomous: A toxin that is injected into you by a bite or sting.
  • Puss: A thick yellowish-white liquid that forms in an infected area.

Species Affected

Learn About Other Diseases

Click below to learn more about the many different diseases that can spread between animals and humans.