Case of necrotising fasciitis under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 24) investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis (NF) involving a man aged 50.

     The patient, with underlying illnesses, has presented with left hand swelling and redness since September 21 and was admitted to Yan Chai Hospital on the same day. He has been managed in the Intensive Care Unit since September 23 and is currently in a critical condition. His clinical diagnosis was left hand NF.

     The patient's left hand wound swab yielded Vibrio vulnificus (VV), a type of bacteria which can cause NF, upon preliminary laboratory testing by Princess Margaret Hospital.

     He has no recent travel history. His home contacts were asymptomatic. 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, swelling and pus develop.

     The public may visit the CHP's page on VV infection ( for more information.

Ends/Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:05