Case of invasive meningococcal infection under CHP investigation
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 13) investigating a confirmed case of invasive meningococcal infection, a communicable disease transmitted by direct contact with droplets from carriers or infected persons, and hence appealed to the public for vigilance.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The Centre for Health Protection ( CHP ) of the Department of Health is today ( January 13 ) investigating a confirmed case of invasive meningococcal infection, a communicable disease transmitted by direct contact with droplets from carriers or infected persons, and hence appealed to the public for vigilance.
The 49-year-old female patient, with good past health, lives alone. She presented with coryzal symptoms since January 6. The patient developed fever and confusion on January 13 and was brought to the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital ( TMH ). She was admitted to Intensive Care Unit on the same day.
The clinical diagnosis is central nervous system infection and she is currently in a critical condition.
Her cerebrospinal fluid culture tested positive for antigen of Neisseria meningitides by TMH. Neisseria meningitides is the bacteria causing meningococcal infection.
The patient had travelled to the Mainland and Macau during the incubation period. The CHP's investigation is proceeding.
This is the first confirmed case of invasive meningococcal infection reported to the CHP this year. Three cases were filed in 2013 while there were four in 2012.
"Meningococcal infection is caused by a bacterium known as meningococcus. It is mainly transmitted by direct contact through respiratory secretions, including droplets from the nose and throat, from infected persons. The incubation period varies from two to 10 days, and is commonly three to four days," a spokesman for the CHP explained.
The clinical picture may vary. Severe illness may result when the bacteria invades the bloodstream ( meningococcaemia ) or the membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord ( meningococcal meningitis ).
Meningococcaemia is characterised by sudden onset of fever, intense headache, purpura, shock and even death in severe cases. Meningococcal meningitis is characterised by high fever, severe headache and stiff neck followed by drowsiness, vomiting, fear of bright light, or a rash. It can cause brain damage or even death. The brain damage may lead to intellectual impairment, mental retardation, hearing loss and electrolyte imbalance. Invasive meningococcal infections can be complicated by arthritis, inflammation of heart muscle, inflammation of the posterior chamber of the eye or chest infection.
Meningococcal infection is a serious illness. Patients should be treated promptly with antibiotics.
To prevent meningococcal infection, members of the public are advised to take heed of the following measures:
* Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly, especially when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions, e.g. after sneezing, and clean hands with alcohol-based handrub when they are not visibly soiled; * Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with tissue, dispose of nasal and mouth discharge in a lidded rubbish bin, and wash hands immediately; * Avoid crowded places; * Avoid close contact with patients who have fever or severe headache; * Travellers to high-risk areas may consult doctors for meningococcal vaccination; and * Travellers returning from high-risk areas should seek medical advice if they become ill and should discuss their recent travel history with their doctor.
This story was released on 2014-01-14. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.