12/04/2012

Hong Kong, Vigilance urged against community-associated MRSA (December 4 2012)

[Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full text: (LINK).]

Vigilance urged against community-associated MRSA

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (December 4) called on the public to stay vigilant against infection by community-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a drug-resistant bacterium.

The appeal followed the CHP's investigation into a confirmed case of invasive CA-MRSA involving a 9-year-old boy living in Yau Tsim Mong District.

The boy, who had an underlying medical condition, had had fever and shortness of breath since November 5. He consulted a private doctor on the same day. He was subsequently admitted to a private hospital on November 12 and was diagnosed with pneumonia. He was stable after admission and was discharged on November 25.

The boy's sputum grew CA-MRSA. His home contacts are asymptomatic.

MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. It is a common infection worldwide.

In recent years, many countries have observed MRSA infections in healthy individuals who have not been hospitalised or stayed in other healthcare facilities or institutions, nor received medical procedures in the year before the onset of symptoms. Their cases are known as CA-MRSA infections and usually have special patterns of antibiotic resistance.

"It is widely recognised that indiscriminate use of antibiotics may contribute to antibiotics resistance," a CHP spokesman said.

People are advised not to use antibiotics without professional advice. If they are advised by doctors to take antibiotics, they should take the medicine according to the prescribed frequency and dosage. People should observe good personal hygiene including washing hands with liquid soap frequently.

For further information on CA-MRSA, please visit the CHP website, www.chp.gov.hk.

Ends/Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:19
NNNN

-

------