CHP announces one new confirmed melioidosis infection case over past week
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     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 16) said that one new confirmed melioidosis infection case had been recorded in the past week (December 10 to 16).

     The case involves a 69-year-old female living in Sham Shui Po. She has multiple underlying illnesses and is receiving chemotherapy for myelofibrosis. She developed fever and dizziness since November 23. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre and was admitted on the same day. She was later discharged after her condition became stable. She was hospitalised again on December 7 due to persistent fever. She is still hospitalised and her current condition is stable. Her blood specimen was confirmed positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei upon testing. An epidemiological investigation of the case is ongoing and the possibility of reactivation of latent infection acquired earlier due to immunosuppression could not be excluded.

     A total of 43 melioidosis infection cases have been recorded in Hong Kong so far this year, among which 27 cases living in Sham Shui Po were recorded since August.

     The Government has earlier gazetted to include melioidosis as a statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Schedule 1 to the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599). The CHP will continue to work closely with the Hospital Authority to enhance surveillance against melioidosis cases.
 
     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. For more information on melioidosis, please visit the website of the CHP at www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/24/101110.html.

Ends/Friday, December 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:00

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