The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health reports investigating a probable case of botulism, and again reminded the public that botulinum toxin injections should only be prescribed and performed by registered doctors.


The female patient, aged 41 with underlying illness, developed generalised weakness, difficulty in swallowing and hoarseness since September 28. She was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on October 29. The clinical diagnosis was suspected iatrogenic botulism. She is now in a stable condition.

“According to the patient, she received botulinum toxin injection in both calves at her home on September 24 from a beautician who came from the Mainland. Investigations are ongoing,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

Due to the weakening of associated muscles and the fact that botulinum toxin may spread and affect other areas beyond the injection site, affected patients may have drooping of the eyelids, double vision or blurred vision, problems with chewing, hoarseness or even difficulties in swallowing, speaking or breathing, which may happen in hours, days or weeks after the injection.

Health officials urge the public to observe the health advice below before receiving botulinum toxin injections:

  • Injections should only be performed by locally registered doctors;
  • Understand the procedure, potential risks and complications before receiving injections. Consult a doctor for an informed decision;
  • Do not receive an injection in case of history of allergy to botulinum toxin, or infection or inflammation on the injection site;
  • Request the full name of the doctor in writing if referred by a beauty service provider for the procedure, as well as the professional qualifications and relevant experience; and
  • If symptoms develop, such as fever or feeling unwell, seek medical attention immediately.


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