Hong Kong: Necrotizing Fasciitis Case Confirmed
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health received a report of a necrotizing fasciitis case (flesh-eating disease) involving a 50-year-old man.
The man, living in Sham Shui Po, noted to have rash over his left calf on August 30. He later developed painful swelling over both his calves and was admitted to Caritus Medical Centre for management on September 1. He is now in critical condition.
Laboratory tests on his wound swab yielded vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria causing necrotizing fasciitis.
CHP is now investigating the case.
A CHP spokesman said necrotizing fasciitis was a serious bacterial infection of the soft tissue and fascia. It can destroy tissue and can cause death within 12 to 24 hours after infection.
Members of the public are reminded to adopt the following preventive measures:
- Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to sea water or salty water;
- Wounds should be thoroughly cleansed and properly covered;
- Wear thick rubber gloves when handling raw shellfish;
Patients should seek medical advice promptly if symptoms and signs of infection like increasing redness, pain and swelling were found.