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Update on CHP's investigation into Legionnaires' Disease case

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (July 21) provided an update on its investigation into an earlier confirmed case of Legionnaires' Disease (LD) involving a 77-year-old man admitted to St Paul's Hospital.

     A CHP spokesman said that preliminary laboratory results of the environmental swabs collected from the patient¡¦s new home in Kwun Tong, including those from the kitchen and washroom wash basin, revealed the presence of Group One Legionella pneumophila.  LD is usually caused by Group One Legionella pneumophila.

     CHP also collected water samples from the water tank of the residential building for laboratory tests. Results are pending.

     Meanwhile, water samples were taken from two cooling towers of a shopping centre in Tuen Mun frequently visited by the patient before he was infected.  Laboratory results also showed the presence of Group One Legionella pneumophila.

     The management of the shopping centre was requested to carry out disinfection of its cooling towers.

     "The source of infection cannot be ascertained at this stage. Further investigation and laboratory testing will be carried out," the spokesman said.

     The patient, who was admitted to St Paul's Hospital on July 9, was discharged on July 15 in stable condition.  Culture of sputum specimen yielded Group One Legionella pneumophila.  Investigation continues.

     Legionella bacteria are found in various environmental settings and grow well in warm water (25 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius). They can be found in aqueous environment such as water tanks, cooling towers, whirlpool and spas, water fountains and apparatus that support breathing. Proper design, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems can prevent LD. For more information about good practices in handling man-made water systems, please visit the website of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department for the Code of Practice issued by the Prevention of LD Committee (

Ends/Thursday, July 21, 2011
Issued at HKT 21:18


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