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CHP announces one new confirmed melioidosis infection case over past week
     ​The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (January 13) said that one new confirmed melioidosis infection case had been recorded in the week (January 7 to 13). 

     The case involves a 90-year-old female living in Sham Shui Po. She has multiple underlying illnesses including diabetes, hypertension and blood lipid disorder. She developed toe pain and swelling since December 25, 2022, and sought medical consultation. She attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Caritas Medical Centre on January 8 due to persistent pain and swelling, and was admitted on the same day. Her condition has been stable all along. Her toe abscess specimen was confirmed positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei upon testing. An epidemiological investigation of the case is ongoing.
    A total of one melioidosis infection case has been recorded in Hong Kong so far this year. In 2022, 46 melioidosis infection cases were recorded, among which 30 cases living in Sham Shui Po were recorded since August that year.

     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.

     The 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, January 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:00
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