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CHP investigates case of Legionnaires' disease

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (July 24) investigating a case of Legionnaires' disease (LD) affecting a woman aged 76.

     The patient, with underlying illnesses, lives in a residential care home for the elderly in Kwun Tong. She has presented with fever, cough and shortness of breath since July 14 and was admitted to United Christian Hospital (UCH) on July 20 for management. The clinical diagnosis was pneumonia and she has been in stable condition.

     Her sputum sample tested positive for Legionella pneumophila upon laboratory testing by UCH.

     Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no recent travel history.

     "We are working with the residential care home for the elderly (RCHE) in which the patient stayed on the epidemiological investigation into the possible source of infection. Tracing of contacts including staff and residents therein is under way. Water samples and environment swabs will be collected from the RCHE for laboratory testing," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     The RCHE has been put under medical surveillance. No other cases have been identified from staff and residents of the RCHE so far. The CHP provided health advice on LD to staff and residents, including those with weakened immunity who should use boiled water for drinking, tooth-brushing and mouth-rinsing.

     "As Legionella bacteria can be widely found in the environment, investigations are ongoing," the spokesman remarked.

     This is the 26th LD case reported to the CHP this year. In 2014 and 2013, 41 and 28 cases were recorded respectively.

     The public may visit the CHP's LD page ( for more information and corresponding preventive advice.

Ends/Friday, July 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:08


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