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CHP investigates imported cholera case
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 9) investigating an imported case of cholera, and again appealed to the public for good personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.
     The male patient, aged 39 with good past health, travelled to India from September 10 to 30 and developed diarrhoea since October 1. He was admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital on October 5 for isolation and management and was transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation and management on October 8. He has been in a stable condition all along.

     His stool specimen today yielded toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype Ogawa upon testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.
     The CHP's investigations are ongoing.

     "Most cholera patients have gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea or vomiting. Some patients with severe symptoms present with a sudden onset of profuse diarrhoea with rice-water-like and fishy smelling stools, nausea and vomiting. Without prompt treatment, these patients may die from severe dehydration," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     Cholera is usually contracted through consumption of food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae. Human-to-human transmission rarely happens.

     The CHP advised the public to observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel:
  • Wash hands properly with liquid soap and water before eating or handling food, after going to the toilet or changing diapers, and after handling garbage;
  • Avoid handling food when having symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea;
  • Purchase food from hygienic and reliable sources. Do not patronise illegal hawkers;
  • Handle raw, cooked and ready-to-eat food with separate utensils and store them separately;
  • Ensure thorough cooking of food before consumption;
  • Discard any spoilt food;
  • Clean the refrigerator regularly. Maintain the fridge at or below 4 degrees Celsius and the freezer at or below -18 degrees C;
  • Maintain proper sanitary facilities and drainage systems; and
  • Clean and disinfect toilets used by an infected person and the soiled areas.

     In addition, travellers to cholera-affected areas should:
  • Cook food and boil water thoroughly before consumption. Do not patronise illegal hawkers. Avoid eating cold dishes like salads. Wash and peel fruit by yourself. Do not use ice for beverages. If water cannot be boiled, treat water with chlorine or iodine before consumption; and
  • Travellers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop. Reveal the travel history and maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene.

     The public may visit the CHP's cholera page for more information.
Ends/Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:15
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