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Cases Of Fungal Corneal Infections In Hong Kong

May 26, 2006

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has received one more report of fungal corneal infection (keratitis) this month, bringing the total number of contact lens users affected to 33 since the infection was firstly reported in May 2005.

A CHP spokesman said the newly identified case was a 40-year-old man who attended a public hospital in April this year.

“Of the 33 patients, 32 were interviewed and 29 of them claimed that they used only B&L ReNu multipurpose contact lens solution,” he said.

Preliminary results of case-control study conducted by the CHP in connection with fungal keratitis found a significant association between development of fungual keratitis and the use of ReNu solution among disposable contact lens users in Hong Kong. The association is present even after adjusting for hygiene and other factors.

“The finding is consistent with that from a case-control study conducted in Singapore,” the spokesman said.

Noting that the manufacturer announced a worldwide recall of the ReNu with MoistureLoc Multi-purpose contact lens solution yesterday, the spokesman said DH supported the recall and called on contact lens users to stop using the product including partially used and opened bottles.

The CHP will also continue to monitor the local situation closely.

He reminded contact lens users to observe the following measures to prevent contact lens associated infection:

  • Always wash hands properly with soap and water and dry them before handling contact lens, contact lens solutions or related accessories.
  • Attend regular check up by your optometrists/ophthalmologist and follow their instruction of cleaning and disinfection procedures for contact lenses and the accessories.
  • Follow wearing hours and replacement schedule recommended by your optometrists/ophthalmologists. Do not wear lenses for duration longer than recommended and replace them as recommended by your optometrists/ophthalmologists.
  • Practise proper contact lens cleaning and care regimes. Both sides of the lenses must be rubbed with the fingers for 20 seconds and rinsed thoroughly before soaking overnight in multi-purpose solution. Rinse the lenses with saline before wearing the contact lenses next time.
  • The multi-purpose solution in the lens storage case must be changed everyday even if the lenses are not used daily.
  • Close all bottles of contact lens solution properly after use.
  • Discard contact lens solutions after one month of opening.
  • Storage case should be cleaned, rinsed and dried after every use to avoid micro-organism growth contamination.
  • All contact lenses, solutions and accessories should be stored in a cool and dry place.
  • Disinfect the case weekly by soaking in just-boiled water for 10 minutes.
  • Replace case every three months.
  • Disposable contact lenses must not be used beyond their recommended disposal period.
  • Do not wet your lens with saliva, bottled water or tap water.
  • Remove the contact lens whenever you feel discomfort or redness and seek advice from your optometrists or ophthalmologists (eye doctors).
  • Seek medical advice from your doctor promptly if symptoms persist despite contact lens is off.

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