The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health reported the latest number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) in Hong Kong Thursday, and stressed the importance of using and maintaining properly designed man-made water systems and that susceptible groups should strictly observe relevant precautions.
From January 31 to February 6, two community-acquired LD cases were reported, namely:
1. A man aged 67 with underlying illnesses who lives in Hoi Deen Court, Causeway Bay; and
2. A man aged 65 with underlying illnesses who lives in Hong Shun House, Cheung Hong Estate, Tsing Yi.
“Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to identify potential sources of infection, high-risk exposure and clusters, if any,” a spokesman for the CHP said.
As of February 6, a total of 10 LD cases had been reported in 2016. In 2015 and 2014, there were 66 and 41 cases respectively.
Legionellae are found in various environmental settings and grow well in warm water (20 to 45 degrees Celsius). They can be found in aqueous environments such as water tanks, hot and cold water systems, cooling towers, whirlpools and spas, water fountains and home apparatus that support breathing. People may get infected when they breathe in contaminated droplets (aerosols) and mist generated by artificial water systems. They may also get the infection when handling garden soil, compost and potting mixes.