The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 5) investigating a case of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) affecting a man aged 67.

Hong Kong/CIA
Hong Kong/CIA

The patient, with underlying illnesses, presented with fever, tiredness and shortness of breath since December 29, 2014. He was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on January 1. He was diagnosed as having pneumonia and is now in stable condition.

His urine sample tested positive for Legionella pneumophila upon laboratory testing by the CHP’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.

Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had travelled to Guangdong Province from December 21 to 23, 2014. His travel collateral and home contact remain asymptomatic. Investigations are proceeding.

This is the first LD case reported to the CHP this year. Forty-one cases were filed in 2014 and 28 in 2013.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found inhot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, largeplumbing systems and decorative fountains.

People get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor(small droplets of water in the air) containing the bacteria.

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