Case Of Streptococcus Suis Infection Under Investigation

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Streptococcus Suis

Hong Kong Department Of Health is investigating a case of laboratory confirmed infection of Streptococcus suis, a kind of bacteria isolated from pigs.

The case involved a 59-year-old man, living in Sheung Shui, who developed fever, chills and muscle pain on May 19. He was admitted to North District Hospital on the same day and is now in stable condition.

A CHP spokesman said he had no recent travel history. His home contact did not have any symptoms.

This is the second reported case of Streptococcus suis infection in 2007. A total of eight cases were reported in 2006 and 13 cases were reported in 2005.

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The spokesman said Streptococcus suis infection may present as meningitis (inflammation of the membrane enclosing the brain), septicaemia (blood stream infection), and less commonly endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart chambers), arthritis and bronchopneumonia (a kind of lung infection involving the bronchioles). Streptococcus suis infection could be treated with appropriate antibiotics.

To prevent the disease, people are advised to always observe personal and environmental hygiene practices and avoid contact with pigs that are sick or dead from diseases and their excreta or body fluid. If contact with pigs or raw pork is necessary, one should:

* Use protective gloves;

* Wash hands after handling pigs or raw pork; and

* Clean and cover all wounds properly.

People with suspected symptoms should consult their doctors as soon as possible and report their relevant exposure histories.

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