A two-year-old boy has an extremely rare immunity disorder, believed to be the first such case in Hong Kong. Ho Wai-hung, who has suffered from chronic diarrhoea since he was two months old, has been diagnosed with IPEX syndrome, which is caused by hereditary and congenital factors. The disorder affects his endocrine function and causes gut malfunction, and he must receive a bone marrow transplant. A donor has been identified and he could undergo the operation within months. In April, Tuen Mun Hospital transferred him to Queen Mary Hospital, the teaching hospital of Hong Kong University, where doctors made the diagnosis. The experts believe this is the first diagnosed case in Hong Kong. 'Because of his disease, I quit my job last year. I go to the hospital in Pokfulam from Tuen Mun every day to take care of him,' Mrs Ho said. 'So many babies are born in Hong Kong, why did my son get the disease?' Lau Yu-lung, the university's chair professor of the department of paediatrics and adolescent medicine, says it is estimated that 10 to 15 newborn babies in Hong Kong are diagnosed with immunodeficiency diseases every year. Though these diseases are quite rare, the consequences can be very serious. Patients can develop multiple infections which lead to lifelong health problems. Some of them may even die of serious infections before any diagnosis. Dr Lau stressed that an early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment. He urged parents to raise their awareness if their babies have symptoms such as recurrent ear or sinus infections, or two or more pneumonias within a year.