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CHP announces two new confirmed melioidosis infection cases over past week
     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (April 14) said that two new confirmed melioidosis infection cases had been recorded in the past week (April 8 to 14). 

     The first case involves a 66-year-old female who lives in Chai Wan. She was found to have decreased conscious level at home on April 10 and was sent to the Accident and Emergency Department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for treatment on the same day. Her blood sample was confirmed positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei upon testing. She was diagnosed with diabetes during hospitalisation and is now in a critical condition.

     The second case involves a 74-year-old male who has Parkinson's disease and lives in Sham Shui Po. He had developed a cough with sputum since mid-February. He attended the Caritas Medical Centre (CMC) for follow-up medical treatment on April 4 and saved a sputum sample, which was confirmed positive for Burkholderia pseudomallei on April 12 upon testing. He was admitted to the CMC yesterday (April 13) for treatment and is now in a stable condition.

     Epidemiological investigations of the cases are ongoing. A total of six melioidosis infection cases have 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.

     Melioidosis is a statutorily notifiable infectious disease under Schedule 1 to the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599). The CHP will 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, April 14, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:53
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