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Case of Vibrio vulnificus infection under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (August 18) investigating a case of Vibrio vulnificus (VV) infection affecting a man aged 71.

     The patient, with good past health, lives in Guangdong. He has developed left leg pain and swelling since August 9 and was admitted to Yan Chai Hospital on August 12 for management. He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit on August 13 for further treatment and returned to the general ward today in stable condition.

     The clinical diagnosis was left leg necrotising fasciitis (NF). His left leg wound swab yielded VV upon preliminary laboratory testing by Princess Margaret Hospital. VV is a type of bacteria which can cause NF.

     Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

     "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," a spokesman for the CHP explained.

     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 promptly seek medical advice 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/Monday, August 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:40


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