Hong Kong: CHP urges vigilance against community-associated MRSA (March 4 2011)

[Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, View Original Article.]

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

The appeal was made following the CHP's investigation into a confirmed case of invasive CA-MRSA involving a teenager living in Tseung Kwan O.

The 16-year-old boy presented with boils over the neck since February 14. He further developed fever on February 22 and was admitted to the Tseung Kwan O Hospital on the same day. The patient was discharged on February 23. He is currently in a stable condition.

His blood specimen grew MRSA. His home contacts were 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 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 onset of symptoms. They are known as CA-MRSA infections and usually have special patterns of antibiotic resistance.

It is widely recognised by the medical sector that indiscriminate use of antibiotics may contribute to antibiotics resistance, a CHP spokesman said.

People are advised not to use antibiotics without medical 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 maintain 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.