Hong Kong Confirms Necrotizing Fasciitis Case

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Hong Kong Department of Health is investigating a case of necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) involving a 77-year-old man.

The man, living in Wong Tai Sin, developed swelling over the left hand and fever on November 2 and was admitted to United Christian Hospital on the same day. He had history of injury on the left hand by a fish while preparing food at home. He is now in the intensive care unit in serious condition.

His left hand tissues and blood grew Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria causing necrotizing fasciitis.

A CHP spokesman said necrotizing fasciitis is 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.