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CHP investigates two probable cases of botulism
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (November 29) investigating two probable cases 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 two female patients, aged 42, received botulinum toxin injections in the same beauty premises in Jordan as that of another case the CHP announced on November 23.

     The two female patients have good past health. One of them received the injections on both sides of face on November 7 and has presented with rigidity around corner of the mouth, blurring of vision, slurring of speech, upper limb weakness and numbness, and shortness of breath since November 14. The other patient received the injections on both sides of face on November 10 and has presented with rigidity around corner of the mouth with chewing difficulty, blurring of vision, ptosis and palpitation since November 18. They attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Kwong Wah Hospital yesterday (November 28) and were admitted on the same day. They are in stable condition. The clinical diagnosis was suspected iatrogenic botulism.

     "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 medical practitioners 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.​
Ends/Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:58
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