Update on investigations into cluster of Legionnaires' disease

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (April 21) reported an update on its investigations into a cluster of Legionnaires' disease (LD).

     Upon the CHP's genetic analysis, respiratory specimens of male patients earlier confirmed to have LD revealed an identical sequence type of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. They are three men aged 84 (stable condition), 66 (discharged) and 70 (critical) announced on January 9, February 1 and April 10 respectively.

     In Hong Kong, while the three patients reside in different areas, i.e. Hung Hom, Chai Wan and Tseung Kwan O respectively, epidemiological investigations have revealed no common local movements so far. All of them had been to Macau during their respective incubation period.

     "As legionellae are found in various environmental settings and aqueous environments, their sources of infection are yet to be ascertained.

Investigations are ongoing," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "We have informed the health authority of Macau of the cluster's laboratory findings and investigations to date and will maintain close liaison to monitor the latest developments. Locally, we will issue letters to doctors and hospitals to alert them to the latest situation for heightened vigilance," the spokesman added.

     The CHP again stressed the importance of using and maintaining properly designed man-made water systems, and that susceptible groups, particularly persons with weakened immunity, should strictly observe relevant precautions. More health information are available in the CHP's http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24307.html">LD page.

     As of April 15, a total of 17 LD cases (16 community-acquired, one nosocomial) had been reported in 2017.

In 2016 and 2015, there were 75 and 66 cases respectively.

Published on: 2017-04-21

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