A rare superbug first linked to travel to India has been found in a 78-year-old Burmese man who died of pneumonia, the Centre for Health Protection revealed yesterday.
The man, a Hong Kong resident who lived in Eastern District, died on Friday 10 days after being admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan, with fever, shortness of breath and a cough.
His urine specimen tested positive for NDM-1, in reference to New Delhi.
The man visited Burma from March 21 to June 24 and was treated there for an infection.
A center spokesman said NDM is an enzyme, which can inactivate antibiotics carbapenems and other beta-lactams such as penicillin.
The case was the 11th detected here since a worldwide health alert was sounded in 2008. The first fatality was recorded two years later.
The spokesman said proper use of antibiotics and personal hygiene, especially hand cleansing, are required to prevent contagion.
Meanwhile, the center has warned travelers to Sichuan province of a bubonic plague outbreak.
It received notification from the Ministry of Health yesterday that three villagers in Ganzizhou ate a dead marmot on September 2.
One of them suffered painful swelling to the lymph nodes two days later and died on Friday.
The provincial health authority confirmed the case as bubonic plague and has traced 59 close contacts. None, including the other two villagers who ate the animal, has shown symptoms.
Plague is transmitted from infected animals, mainly rodents, to man through the bite of a flea from an infected animal. Humans may also contract plague when cuts or other breaks in their skin come into contact with the body fluid or tissue of infected animals.
The center spokesman reminded travelers to avoid visiting plague- endemic areas.
Those who need to visit such areas should be vigilant, wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to avoid being bitten by fleas and apply insect repellent.