Hong Kong Confirms Necrotizing Fasciitis Case

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health is investigating a necrotizing fasciitis case (flesh-eating disease) involving a 52-year-old man.

The man, living in Tsing Yi, had a painful reddish swelling on the left index finger on November 24 after sustaining a cut by broken glass at work. He consulted the Accident and Emergency Department of Princess Margaret Hospital on the same day. He was later admitted for further management on November 28 and is now in stable condition.

His wound swab grew Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria causing necrotizing fasciitis.

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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 noted.

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