Update on suspected botulism following botulinum toxin injections

     The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (DH) today (May 30) reported an update on the investigations into two suspected cases of botulism following injections of botulinum toxin in the Mainland.

     Regarding the first case affecting a female patient aged 47 reported on May 27, she was located on the following day (May 28) and revealed that she had travelled to Shenzhen on May 15 and visited a beauty premises where she received botulinum toxin injections to each leg.

     As for the second case involving a woman aged 41 reported last night (May 29), the patient travelled to Shenzhen with a friend on May 9 and visited a beauty premises in Jiulongcheng Square, Dongmen, where she received botulinum toxin injections to her forehead, cheek, the corners of her eyes and neck. Her friend also received botulinum toxin injection there and was asymptomatic.

     "As the first patient refused to provide further information and the second patient cannot recall the exact location, we have no evidence at this stage that both patients received injections at the same premises. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing," a spokesman for the DH said.

     The DH's hotline (2125 1133), operating from 10am to 6pm today, has been activated. Anyone who develops compatible symptoms following botulinum toxin injections is urged to immediately seek medical attention for prompt management and to call the hotline to provide details for epidemiological investigations. No abnormalities have been detected so far. The hotline will operate from 9am to 6pm tomorrow (May 31).

     The DH has informed the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province as well as the China Food and Drug Administration, the Guangdong Food and Drug Administration and the Food and Drug Administration of Shenzhen Municipality of both cases to alert them to the patients' exposure history in the Mainland," the spokesman said.

     "Such injections should only be prescribed and performed by registered doctors. When receiving injections outside Hong Kong, pay special attention to ensure that they are qualified or registered with relevant jurisdictions for practice. In case of medications or injections obtained from suspicious or similar sources as reported above, stop using or receiving them. Promptly consult qualified healthcare professionals if feeling unwell," the spokesman added.

Ends/Monday, May 30, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:45