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CHP investigates local case of Japanese encephalitis
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating this evening (July 20) a local case of Japanese encephalitis (JE) affecting a male patient who stayed in Grantham Hospital (GH) in the entire incubation period (IP).

     The patient aged 52 was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) on May 10 for organ transplant for his underlying illness. He had fever and decreased consciousness on July 6 after receiving blood transfusion in GH, followed by acute confusion and myoclonus on July 8. He developed seizures in unconscious condition on July 9. He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of QMH for further management on July 14. He is now in critical condition.

     His cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum sample tested positive for immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies against JE upon laboratory testing. His CSF also tested positive for JE virus.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had been admitted to GH in the whole IP before onset. According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), there are no pig farms reported within a radius of two kilometres from GH. He lives in Tsing Yi and home contacts have showed no JE symptoms so far and been put under medical surveillance.

     The CHP's active case finding and health talk will follow and the DH noted that GH would step up vector control as a precautionary measure. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the AFCD have been informed for necessary follow-up. This is the third JE case recorded in 2017.

     The CHP's JE hotline (2125 1122) will operate from 9am to 5.45pm.

     "In view of the patient's clinical history and exposure known at this stage, epidemiological investigations are ongoing to try to ascertain the source of infection," a spokesman for the CHP said.
Ends/Thursday, July 20, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:46
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