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Good Personal Hygiene Can Prevent CA-MRSA

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

In response to media enquiries on community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) - a drug resistant bacterium, a spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Hong Kong Department of Health said that the CHP does not have plans to conduct routine CA-MRSA screening in any segment of the community.

The spokesman reiterated that good personal hygiene practice was the most effective way to prevent infection of CA-MRSA.

The spokesman said a total of 274 cases were reported to the CHP in 2008. The majority of these cases were Chinese (59%). Caucasians, Filipino and other ethnicities comprised 13%, 14%, and 14% of the cases respectively.

Although certain ethnic groups appeared to be over-represented in the notified cases, the reasons are not clear.

"Further studies are needed to explain the observation", the spokesman said.

The spokesman called on the public to observe the following measures to prevent CA-MRSA infection:

1. Maintain good personal hygiene.

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2. Keep hands clean by washing thoroughly and frequently with liquid soap and water, or by rubbing them properly with alcohol handrub.

3. Wear gloves whenever it is necessary to touch grossly soiled objects, (e.g. saliva,pus discharge of other household members or pets), and wash hands thoroughly afterwards. This is especially important for immunocompromised persons.

4. Avoid sharing personal items such as unlaundered towels, clothing or uniforms and razors.

5. Avoid direct contact with wounds or anything contaminated by wound secretions.

6. Clean any broken skin such as abrasions or cuts immediately and cover properly with waterproof adhesive bandages. Wash hands before and after touching wounds. Consult a doctor promptly if symptoms of infections develop.

7. Avoid contact sports and visiting public bath houses if you have an open wound.

8. Maintain environmental cleanliness and sterilize reused equipments in public places such as sports centre and public bathroom.

9. Do not take antibiotics indiscriminately. Antibiotics should be prescribed by registered medical practitioners and the patient should complete the whole course of treatment according to the prescribed dosage and frequency.

10. Observe strict hand hygiene and wear mask (for those with respiratory symptoms)if individuals are taking antibiotics.