CHP investigates case of Legionnaires' disease

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 14) investigating a case of Legionnaires' disease.

     The male patient, aged 67 with underlying illnesses, lives in Ma Tau Wai Estate, Kowloon City. He has presented with fever, shortness of breath and cough with blood-stained sputum since October 9 and attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), where he was admitted for management on October 10. The clinical diagnosis was pneumonia and he is now in serious condition.

     His urine specimen tested positive for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 antigen upon testing by QEH. Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no recent travel history.

     "Epidemiological investigations into the possible source of infection are under way. Relevant water samples and environmental swabs will be collected from potential sources for laboratory testing," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "As Legionella are found in various environmental settings and aqueous environments, investigations are ongoing," the spokesman added.
     This is the 54th LD case reported to the CHP this year. In 2014 and 2013, 41 and 28 cases were recorded respectively.

     Legionella are found in various environmental settings and grow well in warm water (20 to 45 degrees Celsius). They can be found in aqueous environments such as water tanks, hot and cold water systems, cooling towers, whirlpools and spas, water fountains and home apparatus that support breathing. People may get infected when they breathe in contaminated droplets (aerosols) and mist generated by artificial water systems. They may also get the infection when handling garden soil, compost and potting mixes.
     It is most important to operate and maintain properly designed man-made water systems to prevent LD. The public may visit the pages below for more information:
* The CHP's LD page (;
* The Code of Practice for Prevention of LD of the Prevention of LD Committee, Hong Kong (; and
* The Housekeeping Guidelines for Cold and Hot Water Systems for Building Management (

Ends/Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:55