We all saw that video of the young girl being dragged into the water by a seal. There is more to that story.
The family of the girl is speaking out for the first time. The girl is being treated for a related infection called “seal finger”.
The Vancouver Aquarium reached out to the family to get in touch with them. They had heard that the girl had an injured finger and realized she was in danger of a possible hazardous infection called seal finger.
Apparently a bite from a seal or sea lion is different from the bite of a terrestrial animal because it has a host of bacteria uncommon to land animals. Seal finger can be caused by a bacteria called” mycoplasma phocacerebrale which must be treated promptly with tetracycline antibiotics.
Seal finger can make an area swell up and make an area look like it is inflated. It tends to affect the hands because it is there that people who work with seals or sea lions tend to get nipped. you can also get it from cuts when you are working on seal meat. The infection is resistant to some antibiotics and so it is important that the right ones be used.
In the past sealers historically lost their fingers or even their hands to the infection. Today, with the right treatment this is not an issue.