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CHP announces no new confirmed melioidosis infection cases today
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (November 16) said that no new confirmed melioidosis infection cases had been recorded as at 5pm today.
 
     The CHP was notified by the Hospital Authority (HA) that an earlier confirmed case involving a 91-year-old male patient who passed away the day before yesterday (November 14). He had multiple underlying diseases including hypertension, ischaemic heart disease and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital on September 13 due to fever and was admitted on the same day. When his condition stabilised, he was subsequently transferred to Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Wong Tai Sin Hospital to continue with treatment. His condition deteriorated on November 14 and he presented with acute abdomen, anaemia and decreased blood oxygen saturation. According to the CHP's epidemiological investigations, he passed away due to acute diseases and the cause of death was unrelated to melioidosis. As of today, a total of 36 melioidosis cases were recorded this year in Hong Kong. Twenty-four patients have been discharged, two patients are still hospitalised and 10 patients passed away, which involved seven males and three females aged from 54 to 93 years. Among the death cases, eight resided in Sham Shui Po (including the above case).

     To enhance surveillance against melioidosis cases, the CHP has been working closely with the HA, and has reminded doctors in Hong Kong to enhance vigilance on suspected cases and promptly refer patients (especially those with chronic illnesses) to hospitals for treatment, and make reports to the CHP according to the test results for the bacteria. The Government also gazetted to include melioidosis as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Schedule 1 to the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599).

     A spokesman for the CHP reiterated that person-to-person transmission and animal-to-human transmission are rare, but melioidosis bacteria can survive in the local environment. Melioidosis is an endemic disease in Hong Kong 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 soil and muddy water may become exposed to the ground after typhoons or storms, and the bacteria could spread more easily with strong winds or storms. As such, the number of melioidosis cases may increase.

     ‚ÄčThe CHP appealed to members of the public to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms, in particular people with diabetes or other immunocompromised conditions, in order to receive appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment. The CHP will continue to deliver health messages to the local community and the general public via various channels. For more information on melioidosis, please visit the website of the CHP at www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/24/101110.html.
 
Ends/Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:35
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