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Necrotising fasciitis case under investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) involving a 69-year-old man with underlying illness.

     The patient lives alone in Sheung Shui. He presented with right knee pain and redness since July 26. He was admitted to North District Hospital on July 28 and was diagnosed as having necrotising fasciitis. Above knee amputation for the right lower limb was performed on the same day.

     The patient is now receiving intensive care and is in serious condition. His blood culture yielded Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria causing necrotising fasciitis.

     He visited a wet market on July 25 but did not recall contact with seawater or raw seafood or sustaining a recent wound. Investigation is continuing.

     A CHP spokesman said necrotising fasciitis is a serious bacterial infection of the soft tissue and fascia. It can destroy tissue and cause death within 12 to 24 hours after infection.

     People are reminded to adopt the following preventive measures:

* Avoid foot/leg contact with dirty water when visiting wet market;
* Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to seawater or salty water;
* Wounds should be thoroughly cleaned and properly covered; and
* Wear thick rubber gloves when handling raw shellfish.

     Patients should seek medical advice promptly if they develop symptoms and signs of infection such as increasing redness, pain and swelling.

Ends/Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:33


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