Via the Centre for Health Protection: Update on investigation into case of Legionnaires' disease in hospital. I can't imagine the Saudis publishing this detailed an account of a nosocomial disease case:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (July 5) reported an update on its investigation into a case of Legionnaires' disease (LD) at St Teresa's Hospital (STH) announced on June 17.
According to the clinician the male patient, aged 59 with underlying illness, died of chest infection on June 18.
Water samples and environmental swabs were collected from STH for laboratory testing of legionella during the joint investigation by the CHP and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) on the possible source of infection and to support the implementation of control measures.
Upon testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch, four out of 12 water samples tested positive for legionella, with a level from 0.5 to 39.5 colony-forming units per millilitre (cfu/ml).
Based on the strategy recommended by the CHP's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/42729.html) in effect since January 1 this year, the level of three of the four positive samples was higher than the action level. They are:
* Two samples from the shower of the patient's room before transferring to the Special Care Unit (SCU) of 3.1 and 39.5 cfu/ml respectively, which were higher than the action level of water systems in low-risk areas of hospitals, i.e. one cfu/ml or above; and
* One sample from the water tap of the patient's room in the SCU of 0.9 cfu/ml, which was higher than the action level of water systems in high-risk areas of hospitals, i.e. 0.1 cfu/ml or above.
The remaining eight water samples tested negative for legionella.
Officers of the CHP and the EMSD today again conducted a site visit to STH and advised on disinfection of water systems concerned. Health advice against LD has been provided to staff and in-patients, including those with weakened immunity who should use sterile or boiled water for drinking, teeth brushing and mouth rinsing.
"Medical surveillance in the wards to which the patient was earlier admitted has been enhanced in collaboration with STH. No additional cases have been identified thus far. We will maintain close liaison with STH to monitor the latest developments. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing," the spokesman added.
As of July 2, a total of 35 LD cases, comprising 34 community-acquired cases and this institutional death case, had been reported in 2016. In 2015 and 2014, there were 66 and 41 cases respectively.