Date
17 August 2017
With more Legionnaires' disease cases coming to light, Hong Kong authorities have, among other safety guidelines, reminded people of the need for regular cleaning of water tanks in buildings. Photo: HKEJ
With more Legionnaires' disease cases coming to light, Hong Kong authorities have, among other safety guidelines, reminded people of the need for regular cleaning of water tanks in buildings. Photo: HKEJ

CHP looking into 3 more cases of Legionnaires’ disease

The government on Monday confirmed three more cases of Legionnaires’ disease (LD), bringing the total so far this year to 49.

According to the health department’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP), the latest LD cases involved males aged between 54 and 75.

Two of the three patients have underlying illnesses. The cases came to light between July 30 and August 5.

The patients live in Kwun Tong, Tai Wai and Ap Lei Chau.

Of the 49 LD cases this year, 46 – including the latest three — were classified as community-acquired, while two were nosocomial, meaning they were acquired in a hospital.

The remaining case involved a patient who was in a retirement home.

In 2016, there were 75 LD cases in the city, up from 66 cases in the previous year.

A CHP spokesman said epidemiological investigations are being conducted to identify potential sources of infection, high-risk exposure and clusters, if any.

The spokesman added that men aged above 50, smokers, alcoholics and persons with weakened immunity are high-risk groups.

“Some situations may also increase the risk of infection, including poor maintenance of water systems leading to stagnant water; living in areas with old water systems, cooling towers or fountains; using electric water heaters, whirlpools and spas or hot water spring spas; and recent stays in hotels or vessels,” the spokesman said.

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JC/BN/RC

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