Hong Kong man dies from Streptococcus suis infection, first case of the year

An elderly Hong Kong resident became the first patient to contract the Streptococcus suis infection so far this year.


Hong Kong  Image/CIA

Hong Kong Image/CIA

According to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health Saturday, the victim was an  85-year-old man with an underlying medical condition. He developed fever and vomiting on March 2 and was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital on March 3. He was diagnosed to have septicemia (his blood grew S. suis).  His condition deteriorated on March 4. He was transferred to intensive care unit on the same day and passed away a few hours later.

The patient had no recent travel history and his family members did not display any symptoms of the disease.

Human Streptococcus suis infection is a zoonotic infection associated with pigs. The infection can be fatal, particularly if the specific strain produces certain toxins. S. suis infection can manifest itself in meningitis, toxic shock, septicemia and endocarditis.

Eating undercooked infected pork and blood paste are common ways people contract the disease.

Proper cooking of pork meat or porcine organs eliminates the risk of infection with Streptococcus suis. The infection in humans is not only seen in those who consume raw pork, but also in those who slaughter and prepare the meals.

Streptococcus suis infection can be treated with appropriate antibiotics.

To prevent the disease, members of the public are advised to always practise personal and environmental hygiene. They should avoid contact with pigs that are sick or dead from diseases and their excreta or body fluid. If contact with pigs or raw pork is necessary, one should:

* Use protective gloves;
* Wash hands after handling pigs or raw pork; and
* Clean and cover all wounds properly.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Hong Kong health officials investigate another Streptococcus suis case - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] six weeks after reporting the first fatality of the year in Hong Kong due to the bacterium, Streptococcus suis, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced […]

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