Hong Kong Investigates Legionnaires' Disease Case

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Centre for Health Protection of the Hong Kong Department of Health is investigating a case of Legionnaires' Disease (LD) involving a 51-year-old woman.

The woman, living in Sham Shui Po, developed fever, cough and shortness of breath since April 1. She was admitted to Caritas Medical Centre on April 11. She is now in stable condition.

The CHP's investigation revealed that she had travelled to the Mainland China during the incubation period. Her family members are asymptomatic.

This is the fifth Legionnaires’ Disease case reported this year. Thirteen cases were reported in 2008, 11 in 2007 and 16 in 2006.

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To prevent the disease, members of the public are reminded to observe the following:

* An individual may reduce his/her susceptibility to the disease by avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, and maintaining good health.

* People handling garden soils, composts and potting mixes should take the following precautions:

- Gently water gardens and composts using low pressure.
- Open composted potting mixes slowly and make sure the opening is directed away from the face.
- Wet the soil to reduce dust when potting plants.
- Avoid working in poorly ventilated places such as enclosed greenhouses.
- Wash hands carefully afterwards.

* Proper design, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems.

For more information about the good practices to be followed in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of man-made water systems, please visit the website of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (http://www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pps/oa_ld_pub_cp.shtml) for the Code of Practice published by the Prevention of Legionnaires' Disease Committee in 2007.

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