Aquarium animals such as reptiles and fish make great family pets, but they can sometimes spread disease to people.
Everyone can be infected, however, infants, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system are at greater risk of infection.
If you or a family member becomes ill with severe gastroenteritis or an unusual skin infection, go to your doctor and remember to tell them about your contact with any tropical fish, or animals kept in an aquarium.
Follow the advice that is given to you by your doctor. For gastroenteritis, most people recover with rest and plenty of fluids.
Your local public health unit can advise further regarding exclusions from work and school. Children in childcare should stay home until diarrhoea has stopped. People who are food handlers or who care for children, the sick or the elderly, should avoid work for 48 hours after the diarrhoea has stopped.
For further information please call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055