Via the Centre for Health Protection: Case of Vibrio vulnificus infection under CHP investigation. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 2) investigating a case of Vibrio vulnificus infection affecting a woman aged 79. Vibrio vulnificus is a type of bacteria causing necrotising fasciitis, commonly known as flesh-eating disease.
The patient, with chronic illness, presented with swelling in her right middle finger and right calf since November 26 and was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) on November 27 for management. The clinical diagnosis was necrotising fasciitis. She passed away on November 28.
Her blood, wound swab and right calf tissue culture yielded Vibrio vulnificus upon laboratory testing by PYNEH.
Initial enquiries revealed that the patient had suffered from a scalding injury to her right middle finger before the onset of symptoms. Investigations by the CHP into her travel and exposure histories are ongoing.
"Vibrio vulnificus, a kind of bacteria that normally lives in warm seawater, may cause infection in those who have an open wound exposed to seawater or eat seafood contaminated with the bacteria," a spokesman for the CHP explained.
Wound infection with Vibrio vulnificus may result in necrotising fasciitis, a serious bacterial infection of the soft tissue and fascia (a sheath of tissue covering the muscle). It can lead to tissue destruction and can be fatal.