Public Reminded To Prevent E. Coli

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The CHP of DH reminded members of the public to observe good personal, food and environmental Hygiene to prevent intestinal infection caused by E. Coli O157:H7 bacteria.

The appeal came after the confirmation by laboratory test today of a case of E. Coli O157:H7 infection involving an 18-month-old boy living in Kowloon City. This is the first case reported to the CHP this year.

CHP's investigations revealed that the child developed fever and vomiting on May 5. He was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on May 12 and was discharged on May 14. He had no travel history during the incubation period. All his home contacts were asymptomatic.

Investigation by CHP is in progress.

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A CHP spokesman said that in general E. coli O157:H7 could be contracted through consumption of undercooked contaminated food or contaminated water, or transmitted from person to person through the faecal-oral route.

"However, the bacteria can be killed at a cooking temperature of around 75 degrees Celsius for two to three minutes," he added.

"Members of the public are advised to cook food thoroughly. The core temperature of food should reach 75 degrees Celsius for two to three minutes."

"Moreover, the public should observe good personal and environmental hygiene to avoid person-to-person transmission of the bacteria through faecal-oral route. They are advised to wash hands thoroughly particularly before handling food; before eating; after visiting toilet and after changing diapers for their babies," the spokesman said.

There was one case in 2007 and 2006 respectively. No case was recorded in 2005 and 2004.

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