The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (October 8) investigating a case of Legionnaires' disease.
The female patient, aged 63 with underlying illnesses, lives in a private building on Shau Kei Wan Road, Eastern District. She presented with fever and cough with sputum on October 1 and attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Mary Hospital on October 3, where she was admitted for management on October 4. The clinical diagnosis was pneumonia and she has been in a stable condition all along.
Her urine specimen tested positive for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 antigen upon testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch. Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had no travel history during the incubation period. Her home contact has remained asymptomatic.
"Epidemiological investigations into the possible source of infection are under way. Relevant water samples and environmental swabs will be collected from potential sources for laboratory testing. Health advice against LD has been given to the patient and her family," a spokesman for the CHP said.
"As Legionella are found in various environmental settings and aqueous environments, investigations are ongoing," the spokesman added.
This is the 53rd LD case reported to the CHP this year. In 2014 and 2013, 41 and 28 cases were recorded respectively.
Legionella are found in various environmental settings and grow well in warm water (20 to 45 degrees Celsius). They can be found in aqueous environments such as water tanks, hot and cold water systems, cooling towers, whirlpools and spas, water fountains and home apparatus that support breathing. People may get infected when they breathe in contaminated droplets (aerosols) and mist generated by artificial water systems. They may also get the infection when handling garden soil, compost and potting mixes.
It is most important to operate and maintain properly designed man-made water systems to prevent LD. The public may visit the pages below for more information:
* The CHP's LD page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24307.html);
* The Code of Practice for Prevention of LD of the Prevention of LD Committee, Hong Kong (www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pps/oa_ld_pub_cp.shtml); and
* The Housekeeping Guidelines for Cold and Hot Water Systems for Building Management (www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pps/oa_ld_pub.shtml).
Ends/Thursday, October 8, 2015