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CHP investigates case of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (November 2) investigating a case of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection, and hence reminded the public to maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene against intestinal infections.
     The case involves a 9-month old boy, with good past health, who has developed fever, vomiting and diarrhoea since October 17. He was admitted to a private hospital for management on October 19 and was discharged on October 22. The patient has been in a stable condition all along.
     His stool specimen grew STEC upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.
     The CHP's investigation is ongoing.
     "Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacterium that is commonly found in the gut of humans and warm-blooded animals. Most strains of E. coli are harmless. Some strains, however, such as STEC, can produce powerful toxins and cause severe food-borne disease. The most recognised serogroup of STEC is E. coli O157:H7," a spokesman for the CHP explained.
     Preventive measures for STEC infections are similar to those recommended for other food-borne diseases. The public are advised to observe good personal and food hygiene:

•Wash hands properly with liquid soap and water before eating or handling food, and after going to the toilet or changing diapers;
•Cook food and boil water thoroughly before consumption. Most food-borne viruses and bacteria (including STEC) can be killed when food is cooked or reheated long enough at sufficient high temperature. When cooking or reheating, the core temperature of the food should reach at least 75 degrees Celsius;
•Avoid consumption of unpasteurised milk or undercooked food; and
•Consult a doctor immediately if symptoms of STEC infection, particularly bloody diarrhoea, develop.
     The public may visit the CHP's website for more information on STEC infection.
Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:25
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