The Centre for Health Protection warned the public against receiving beauty treatments from unlicensed agents as two more women were admitted to local hospitals for suspected botulism after receiving botox injections from the mainland.
The latest cases brought to seven the number of recent local cases of suspected botulism linked to botulinum toxin injections, which are used to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles.
Such injections should only be prescribed and performed by registered doctors, the Department of Health said in a media statement.
One of the latest patients, a 39-year-old woman with previously good health, has developed dry mouth, swallowing difficulties as well as face and neck muscle weakness since May 24.
She sought medical attention from a private doctor on Monday and was advised to seek medical attention from the Accident and Emergency Department.
She was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital the following day.
The patient revealed that a friend brought botox from the mainland and injected it on her face at her home on May 20.
The case has been reported to the police as it is suspected that “illegal practice of medicine and possession of … poison” were involved, the health department said.
Another female patient, aged 33 with good past health, has complained of general weakness, shortness of breath and swallowing difficulties since June 15.
She sought medical attention twice in Dongguan, Guangdong.
Upon her return to Hong Kong, she went to Kwong Wah Hospital and was admitted on Tuesday.
It was learned from the patient that she received injections to her upper arms for the purpose of slimming at a beauty shop in Shenzhen on May 15.
She was not sure whether the injections were botulinum toxin.
The clinical diagnosis for both cases was suspected iatrogenic botulism. Both women are currently in stable condition.
Botulism is a potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
Initial symptoms include weakness, fatigue and difficulties in seeing or speaking.
This may be followed by weakness of the arms, chest muscles and legs.
“We have no evidence at this stage that patients of the seven recent cases so far had received injections in the same premises. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing,” the spokesman for the health department said.
Another HK woman hospitalized after botox injections in China (June 12, 2016)
Medical body warns against botox injections outside Hong Kong (June 6, 2016)
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