The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 10) investigating a case of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) affecting a woman aged 70.
The patient, with underlying illnesses, presented with fever, cough and shortness of breath on December 7. She was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) on December 8 and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for further management the next day. Her clinical diagnosis is pneumonia and she is now in a critical condition.
Her tracheal aspirate sample tested positive for Legionella pneumophila upon laboratory testing by TMH.
Initial inquiries revealed that the patient had no recent travel history. Her home contact remains asymptomatic. Investigations are proceeding.
This is the 40th LD case reported to the CHP this year. In 2013 and 2012, 28 cases were filed in each year.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found inhot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, largeplumbing systems and decorative fountains.
People get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor(small droplets of water in the air) containing the bacteria.
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