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Case of necrotising fasciitis under investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 2) investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis involving an 84-year-old man.

     The patient, with underlying illness, developed left forearm pain, swelling and blisters since March 24. He was admitted to United Christian Hospital (UCH) on March 25.

     His clinical diagnosis was left arm necrotising fasciitis, with amputation performed on March 26. His current condition is serious.

     According to the test results by UCH, patient's pus sample yielded Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria that can cause necrotising fasciitis.

     The patient had no recent travel history. His home contacts are asymptomatic. 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 or other seafood.

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

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

Ends/Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:26


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