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11 Nov 2016

#HK, CHP investigates #critical case of #Streptococcus_suis #infection (November 11 2016)


Title: #HK, CHP investigates #critical case of #Streptococcus_suis #infection.

Subject: S. Suis, human infection, Hong Kong.

Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full page: (LINK).

Code: [     ]


CHP investigates critical case of Streptococcus suis infection


The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (November 11) investigating a case of infection by Streptococcus suis, a kind of bacteria from pigs.

The female patient, aged 74 with underlying illnesses, presented with fever, dizziness, vomiting and pain and swelling in her right hand since November 8. She was admitted to United Christian Hospital (UCH) on the same day and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for further management on November 9.

The clinical diagnosis was cellulitis and sepsis. She was in critical condition.

Her blood sample was cultured positive for Streptococcus suis upon laboratory testing by UCH.

Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had prepared pig offal bought from a local market with bare hands at home on November 7. She had no recent travel history and home contacts have so far remained asymptomatic.

Streptococcus suis infection commonly presents as infection of the brain membranes (meningitis) with fever, headache and vomiting. It may also present with skin bleeding and, less commonly, infection of the blood stream (sepsis), infection of the inner layer of heart (endocarditis), arthritis and bronchiole infection (bronchopneumonia). The characteristic complication is deafness which is likely to remain permanent.

"Streptococcus suis infection is transmitted through direct contact and often related to exposure through wounds on the skin while handling infected pigs or pork. High-risk groups include pig breeders, abattoir workers, meat processing and transport workers, butchers, and cooks. Persons who are immunocompromised including those with the spleen removed and persons with diabetes, cancer and alcoholism are also at higher risk," a spokesman for the CHP said.

To prevent Streptococcus suis infection, members of the public should observe personal, hand and food hygiene:

  • Avoid contact with pigs;
  • When handling pigs or raw pork, wear protective gloves and avoid injury;
  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling pigs or raw pork;
  • Disinfect and cover wounds properly;
  • Raw pork and cooked food should be handled and kept separately;
  • Pork should be cooked thoroughly before consumption; and
  • Do not bring meat into Hong Kong without a permit.

"If symptoms develop, consult a doctor as soon as possible and reveal possible exposure to pigs or raw pork," the spokesman added.

The public may visit the CHP's Streptococcus suis infection page for more information.

Ends/Friday, November 11, 2016 / Issued at HKT 18:30 / NNNN


Keywords: HK PRC SAR; S. Suis; Updates; Human.