CHP investigates one additional confirmed melioidosis infection case and environmental sample results in Sham Shui Po

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (October 21) said that one new confirmed melioidosis infection case had been recorded today. The CHP will continue to strengthen its surveillance work in view of the melioidosis cases in recent months. Members of the public should maintain personal and environmental hygiene at all times and seek medical advice promptly if they develop symptoms.
     The additional case involves an 83-year-old male with multiple underlying diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, impaired fasting glucose and hypertension. He lives in Sham Shui Po. It is learnt that he was found unconscious after falling at home, and was sent to the Caritas Medical Centre on October 17. His clinical diagnosis was rhabdomyolysis and his current condition is serious. His blood specimen cultured positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei by the DH's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) today. Epidemiological investigation of the case is ongoing. As of today, a total of 31 melioidosis cases were recorded this year in Hong Kong.
     The CHP is following-up the environmental investigation in Sham Shui Po by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The PHLSB confirmed today that four soil samples collected at the redevelopment construction site of Pak Tin Estate tested PCR positive to Burkholderia pseudomallei. Separately, the 107 environmental samples collected in Sham Shui Po by the CHP earlier and the additional 10 environmental samples collected in the district recently (including the soil samples collected from the above-mentioned construction site) all tested PCR negative to Burkholderia pseudomallei as well.
     The CHP, together with expert from the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong and representatives from Government departments, conducted a site investigation at the concerned construction site this afternoon. Expert advised that the construction site should conduct thorough disinfection as soon as possible. The CHP will also follow-up on the health conditions of staff members of the concerned construction site. After examining the epidemiological and environmental investigations, the CHP cannot rule out the possibility that the infection of the cases may be related to the melioidosis bacteria in the environment nearby.
     A spokesman for the CHP reiterated that person-to-person transmission and animal-to-human transmission are rare, but may occur through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Melioidosis bacteria can survive in the local environment and melioidosis cases have been recorded in Hong Kong each year. According to literature, infection cases are more common after typhoons or storms. The bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei of melioidosis in the soil and muddy water may become exposed to the ground after typhoons or storms, and the bacteria would spread easier with strong wind or storms. As such, the number of melioidosis cases may increase.
     For more information on melioidosis, please visit the website of the CHP at

Ends/Friday, October 21, 2022
Issued at HKT 21:53