The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is investigating an additional suspected case of botulism after receiving injections of botulinum toxin in the Mainland, and again urged the public that such injections should only be prescribed and performed by registered doctors.


The female patient, aged 21 with good past health, has developed shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, double vision and generalized muscle weakness since May 25. She attended a hospital in Shenzhen on May 25 but did not require hospitalization.

She attended the University of Hong Kong – Shenzhen Hospital where she was admitted on June 9, but she was discharged against medical advice on the same day. She subsequently came to Hong Kong on the same day and was admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital on June 10. She was found to have muscle weakness over four limbs and bilateral ptosis during admission. Her clinical diagnosis was suspected iatrogenic botulism and she is currently in stable condition.

According to information provided by the patient, she received injections of botulinum toxin on May 23 to her bilateral calves at a residential premises in Guangzhou. She was accompanied by a colleague, who received botulinum toxin injections to her face but has remained asymptomatic so far.

“We have no evidence at this stage that patients of the five recent cases so far had received injections in the same premises. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing,” a spokesman for the DH said.

“We are very concerned about these cases and recent reports of consultations following botulinum toxin injections in the Mainland. We have been maintaining close liaison with the Hong Kong Poison Information Centre of the Hospital Authority, relevant medical professionals, and Mainland health and drug regulatory counterparts to identify if there are similar cases. We acknowledged that the health authority of the Mainland had taken follow-up measures,” the spokesman said.