The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 19) investigating a case of necrotising fasciitis (NF) affecting a man aged 56.

Hong Kong/CIA
Hong Kong/CIA

The patient, with good past health, has presented with fever, left leg pain and swelling since September 15 and was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) on September 17. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit in critical condition.

The clinical diagnosis was left leg NF, with amputation performed on September 17. His blood culture yielded Vibrio vulnificus (VV) upon laboratory testing by PYNEH. VV is a type of bacteria which can cause NF.

The patient has no recent travel history. His home contacts were asymptomatic. Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

Last week, the CHP reported two other V. vulnificus necrotizing fasciitis cases in women over 70 years of age.

According to the Florida Department of Health, People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters. The bacterium is frequently isolated from oysters and other shellfish in warm coastal waters during the summer months. Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater. There is no evidence of person-to-persontransmission of Vibrio vulnificus.

Healthy individuals typically develop a mild disease; however Vibrio vulnificus infections can be a serious concern for people who have weakened immune systems, particularly those with chronic liver disease. The bacterium can invade the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness with symptoms like fever, chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock) and blistering skin lesions. Vibrio vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal about 50 percent of the time. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page