Hong Kong health officials reported four additional community acquired Legionnaires’ disease cases during the first week of October, bringing the total to 51 in 2016.
From October 2 to 8, the following Legionnaires’ disease cases were reported:
- A male patient, aged 79 with underlying illness, who lives in Kwai Wai Building, Chik Chuen Street, Tai Wai;
- A male patient, aged 64 with underlying illness, who lives in San Tin Village, Tai Wai;
- A male patient, aged 85 with underlying illness, who lives in Block B, Cheerful Court, Ngau Tau Kok; and
- A male patient, aged 48 with underlying illness. He is a visitor from Dongguan.
“Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to identify potential sources of infection, high-risk exposure and clusters, if any,” a spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said.
As of October 8, a total of 51 Legionnaires’ disease cases, including 50 community-acquired cases and one institutional death case, had been reported in 2016. In 2015 and 2014, there were 66 and 41 cases respectively.
Legionella 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.