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Hong Kong: CHP urges vigilance against community-associated MRSA infection (9/02/10): record-high level in August 2010, 54 cases.

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  • Hong Kong: CHP urges vigilance against community-associated MRSA infection (9/02/10): record-high level in August 2010, 54 cases.

    Hong Kong: CHP urges vigilance against community-associated MRSA infection (9/02/10)

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

    The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (September 2) called on people to maintain vigilance against infection from community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) - a drug resistant bacterium.

    The appeal was made in view of notification received by the CHP of 54 confirmed cases in August this year, a record monthly high.

    Previous data suggest that CA-MRSA infections tend to be more common during the summer.

    The cases comprised 36 males and 18 females aged between two months and 85 years.

    All were sporadic infections except for two family clusters involving a total of four cases.

    A CHP spokesman said that 32 cases had been admitted to hospital while 22 cases were managed as out-patients.

    All of them had skin and soft tissue infection and none had invasive forms of the disease.

    "Fifty-three of them either have recovered or have been discharged from hospital while one patient is in hospital in stable condition," he said.

    There were 291 confirmed CA-MRSA infections reported between January and August this year.

    A total of 368 and 282 cases were reported in 2009 and 2008 respectively.

    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. CA-MRSA commonly causes skin or soft tissue infections and occasionally causes more serious effects such as purulent wound infections and severe pneumonia.

    It was widely recognised that indiscriminate use of antibiotics may contribute to antibiotics resistance, the spokesman said.

    People are advised not to use antibiotics without professional medical 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. They should avoid sharing personal items such as unlaundered towels, clothing or uniforms and razors. If having active skin lesions, clean and cover all wounds properly and avoid manicures, massages, hair cuts, participation in contact sports, sharing of personal items (e.g. towels) and visits to public gyms, saunas, spas, hot tubs or pools.

    For further information on CA-MRSA, please visit the CHP website: