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Be Vigilant Against Community-Associated MRSA

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Hong Kong Department of Health called on people to be vigilant against infection from community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) - a drug resistant bacterium.

The appeal was made following CHP's investigation into a confirmed CA-MRSA case involving a 44-year-old woman living in Eastern District. She developed an abscess over her buttock on January 5 and was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on January 8 for fever. She developed shortness of breath and chest infection on January 10. Her clinical samples grew CA-MRSA.

She is currently in the hospital in stable condition.

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CHP's investigations showed that she had visited the Philippines from December 20, 2008 to January 4, 2009. Her household contacts in Hong Kong did not develop any symptom of CA-MRSA.

MRSA is a type of bacteria 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 hospitalized or stayed in other healthcare facilities or institutions, nor received medical procedures in the past one year prior to onset of symptoms. They are known as CA-MRSA infections and usually have special patterns of antibiotic resistance.

It is widely recognized that indiscriminate use of antibiotics may contribute to antibiotics resistance.

Members of the public 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. Members of the public are advised to observe good personal hygiene including washing hands with soap frequently.



This may sounds like a B-movie on the Sci-Fi Channel, but the CA-MRSA scare is all too real - one of several health alerts this year that proved just how vulnerable we are despite all our scientific know-how and advances in medicine. Bacteria, living organism made of one cell has mastered gene manipulation, enzyme technology, personal defence and technology transfer. All invasive practical procedures, operations, plastic surgery, transplant surgery, hip or knee replacement, open heart surgery will soon come to a grinding halt. The very technology we’ve created to help us live more comfortable and, yes, often healthier lives will turn around and bite us-hard..........