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CHP investigates necrotising fasciitis case

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) involving a 37-year-old woman.

     The patient, without chronic illnesses, presented with right calf pain and swelling on December 5. She was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital the following day (December 6). She was diagnosed as having necrotising fasciitis and right leg above-knee amputation was performed on the same day.

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

     She has no recent travel history and her home contact is asymptomatic.

     The CHP's investigation is continuing.

     A CHP spokesperson 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.

     Members of the public are reminded to adopt the following preventive measures:

* 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/Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:48


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