TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Hong Kong officials release latest strategy for Legionnaires’ disease.

Health investigators will gather samples from possible environmental sources of the illness to further continue their study. | File photo
Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) recently released its latest strategy for preventing and regulating Legionnaires’ disease, a bacterial pneumonia.

The new, risk-based strategy includes environmental investigation and sampling techniques for Legionnaires’ disease. These changes are important to implement because of local epidemiology, regulation practices and prevention approaches overseas.

"Among cases with both respiratory specimens and environmental samples collected from related water systems tested positive for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lp1) from 2011 to date, molecular typing studies conducted by our PHLSB so far have not detected the same sequence-based type of Lp1 bacteria between the human and environmental samples,” a spokesperson from the CHP said. “The environmental sites with Lp1 detected were probably incidental findings and unlikely to be the source of infection for the cases.”

Strategies for investigating Legionnaires’ disease cases include hospitalization and incubation periods. Health investigators will gather samples from possible environmental sources of the illness to further continue their study. These and other changes were part of the recommendations of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases.

Since 2011, there has been an increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases. In 2011, there were 17 cases. In 2012, there were 28 cases, and another 28 cases in 2013. In 2014, health officials confirmed 41 cases, and that number jumped to 66 in 2015.

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