Call for vigilance against community-associated MRSA infection

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 29) 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 an 89-year-old man living in Wan Chai.

     The patient presented with fever and cough on March 16 and was admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital the next day. He is currently in a stable condition. His blood specimen grew MRSA. His home contact was 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 needed to stay 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 was 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,

Ends/Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:03