Suen illness confirmed as legionnaires' disease
Education chief Michael Suen Ming-yeung was diagnosed with legionnaires' disease yesterday after initially being admitted to Queen Mary Hospital with pneumonia.
Suen's spokesman confirmed the diagnosis after the Centre for Health Protection issued a press release saying an unnamed 67-year-man had the disease. Suen is 67.
The spokesman said Suen had been treated with antibiotics, was eating and seemed to be in good shape. The hospital described his condition as stable.
On Tuesday, his wife visited him and said he was in good spirits. Suen declined courtesy visits from his colleagues.
The centre's statement said the patient developed fever, cough and shortness of breath on December 16. He was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on Sunday and was transferred to its intensive care unit the next day. Test results released yesterday showed he was infected with the disease.
Legionnaires' disease can be fatal, but most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics. People most at risk of the bacteria are the elderly and people with weakened immune systems brought on by other diseases.
Suen has been battling kidney failure for some time and in April revealed he had been receiving dialysis since October last year.
Suen and his family visited Dongguan in Guangdong on December 10 to 11. So far, his family have shown no symptoms of the disease.
The Department of Health said Suen's Happy Valley home would be examined for any possible causes of infection.