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Case of necrotising fasciitis under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (June 10) investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis (NF) involving a man aged 51.

     The patient, with good past health, developed left leg pain and swelling since June 6 and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) for further management on the same day. He passed away on June 8. His clinical diagnosis was left leg NF.

     Necrotic tissue of the patient's left leg yielded Vibrio vulnificus (VV), a type of bacteria which can cause NF, upon preliminary laboratory testing by TMH.

     He had no recent travel history. Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

     The case has been referred to the Coroner for follow-up.

     A spokesman for the CHP explained that NF 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 page on VV infection ( for more information.

Ends/Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:08


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