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Confirmed cholera case under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 9) investigating a confirmed case of cholera, and reminds people to observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene, whether in Hong Kong or travelling abroad.

     The case involves a 54-year-old woman who developed vomiting and diarrhoea since October 7. She sought medical consultation at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) on October 8 and was admitted on the same day.

     Laboratory tests today showed that culture of her stool specimen yielded Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa. She was managed in the isolation ward of PMH today and is now in stable condition.

     The CHP's investigation revealed that the patient lives in Kwai Tsing. She had no recent travel history. Her 32-year-old son had diarrhoea since October 7 and was admitted to PMH today.

     This is the first case of cholera reported this year. There were two imported cholera cases in 2012 as well as one imported and one local case in 2011.

     A CHP spokesman said, "Whether in Hong Kong or travelling abroad, people should pay attention to hygiene and take measures to prevent cholera and food-borne infection."

     People are urged to:

* Wash and cook seafood thoroughly before eating, particularly crustaceans and bivalves such as shrimps, crabs, oysters and clams;
* Wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet;
* Handle raw and cooked food with separate utensils to prevent cross-contamination;
* Keep raw and cooked food separately;
* Store food in a refrigerator (at 4 degrees Celsius or below) and thoroughly reheat leftover food before eating; and
* Keep the environment clean.

     When travelling outside Hong Kong, they should:

* Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet;
* Eat only thoroughly cooked food and food from sealed packs or cans;
* Avoid cold dishes such as salad and ice cream;
* Drink only boiled water, canned or bottled drinks, and pasteurised milk or dairy products;
* Do not add ice to drinks and do not drink fresh fruit juice that has been prepared beforehand;
* Do not patronise illegal food hawkers; and
* Wash fruit thoroughly before eating and do not eat fruit that has already been peeled or cut open.

     For more preventive measures against cholera, people may visit the CHP's website (

Ends/Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Issued at HKT 21:54


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