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CHP investigates probable case of botulism
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (November 23) investigating a probable case of botulism after receiving injections of botulinum toxin locally, and again reminded the public that botulinum toxin injections should only be prescribed and performed by registered doctors.
     The female patient, aged 45 with good past health, has presented with dizziness, ptosis, diplopia, dysphonia, limb weakness, girdle weakness and breathing difficulty since November 13. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday (November 22) and was admitted on the same day. She is in a stable condition. The clinical diagnosis was suspected iatrogenic botulism.
     According to the information provided by the patient, she received botulinum toxin injections over the calves and shoulder in a beauty premises in Jordan on November 12. Investigations are ongoing.
     "Botulinum toxin injections should only be performed by a locally registered doctor. Customers should look for his or her full name against the list of registered doctors of the Medical Council of Hong Kong as well as his or her professional qualifications and relevant experience," a spokesman for the DH said.
     Due to the weakening of associated muscles and the fact that botulinum toxin may spread and affect other areas beyond the injection site, affected patients may have drooping of the eyelids, double vision or blurred vision, problems with chewing, hoarseness or even difficulties in swallowing, speaking or breathing, which may happen hours, days or weeks after the injection.
     The DH urged the public to observe the health advice below before receiving botulinum toxin injections:
  • Injections should only be performed by locally registered doctors;
  • Understand the procedure, potential risks and complications before receiving injections. Consult a doctor for an informed decision;
  • Do not receive an injection in the case of history of allergy to botulinum toxin, or infection or inflammation on the injection site;
  • Request the full name of the doctor in writing if referred by a beauty service provider for the procedure, as well as the professional qualifications and relevant experience; and
  • If symptoms develop, such as fever or feeling unwell, seek medical attention immediately.

     The public may visit the DH's webpage on the differentiation between medical procedures and beauty services, the Drug Database of the Drug Office and the CHP's botulism page for more information.‚Äč
Ends/Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:05
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