The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is currently investigating the death of a 51-year-old man due to necrotizing fasciitis (NF).

Vibrio vulnificus/CDC
Vibrio vulnificus/CDC

According to the case, the patient, with good past health, developed left leg pain and swelling since June 6 and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) for further management on the same day. He passed away on June 8. His clinical diagnosis was left leg NF.

Preliminary laboratory testing shows the causative agent of the NF to be Vibrio vulnificus.

The CHP reminds the public to avoid V. vulnificus NF: Avoid foot or leg contact with dirty water when visiting wet markets;  avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to seawater or salty water; wounds should be thoroughly cleaned and properly covered; and wear thick rubber gloves when handling raw shellfish or other seafood.

NF is a serious bacterial infection of the soft tissue and fascia. It can destroy tissue and cause death within 12 to 24 hours after infection. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page