Hong Kong Confirmed A Cholera Case

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The Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health is investigating a confirmed case of cholera and reminded people to observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene, whether in Hong Kong or travelling abroad.

The case involved a 35-year-old woman who developed vomiting and diarrhoea on December 10 and was admitted to a private hospital on December 11. She is now being isolated in Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment and in stable condition.

Laboratory test today showed that her stool specimen yielded positive result for Vibrio cholerae Ogawa.

CHP's investigation revealed that she had travelled to India from November 27 to December 8 with four family members.

This is the sixth case of cholera reported this year. There were three cholera cases in 2007, one in 2006, five in 2005, five in 2004 and seven in 2003.

A CHP spokesman said, "Whether in Hong Kong or travelling abroad, people should pay attention to hygiene and take measures to prevent cholera and food-borne infection."

People are urged to:

* Wash and cook seafood thoroughly before eating, particularly crustaceans and bivalves such as shrimp, crab, oysters and clams;

* Wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet;

* Handle raw and cooked food with separate utensils to prevent cross-contamination;

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* Keep raw and cooked food separately;

* Store food in refrigerator (at 4 degrees Celsius or below) and thoroughly reheat leftover food before eating;

* Keep the environment clean.

When travelling outside Hong Kong, they should:

* Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet;

* Eat only thoroughly cooked food and food from sealed packs or cans;

* Avoid cold dishes such as salad and ice-cream;

* Drink only boiled water, canned or bottled drinks, pasteurised milk or dairy products;

* Do not add ice to drinks and do not drink fresh fruit juice that has been prepared beforehand;

* Do not patronise illegal food hawkers; and

* Wash fruit thoroughly before eating and do not eat fruit that has already been peeled or cut open.

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