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Case of necrotising fasciitis under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 11) investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) involving a 79-year-old woman.

     The patient, with underlying medical conditions, developed left little finger pain and swelling since September 7. She was admitted to United Christian Hospital (UCH) on September 8. She was diagnosed as having necrotising fasciitis, with left little finger amputation performed on September 10. Her current condition is stable.

     According to the UCH test results, the patient's left little finger wound swab yielded Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria causing necrotising fasciitis.

     The patient has no recent travel history. Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

     A CHP spokesman explained that 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 take heed of the following preventive measures:

* Avoid foot or leg contact with dirty water when visiting wet markets;
* 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 symptoms and signs of infection, such as increasing redness, pain and swelling, develop.

     The public may visit the CHP's website ( for more information on Vibrio vulnificus infections.

Ends/Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:49


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