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Vigilance urged against community-associated MRSA

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (December 13) called on the public to stay vigilant against infection by community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a drug-resistant bacterium.

     The appeal followed the CHP's investigation into a confirmed case of invasive CA-MRSA involving an 80-year-old woman living in Kowloon City.

     The woman, with good past health, presented with left knee pain and swelling for one month. She was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on November 28. The hospital confirmed the diagnosis of septic arthritis of her left knee and arthrotomy and drainage of her left knee was performed on November 30.

     The pus collected from the patient grew MRSA. She is currently in stable condition in hospital.

     She has no recent travel history. Her home contact did not have symptoms of CA-MRSA infection.
     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 stayed in other healthcare facilities or institutions, nor received medical procedures in the year before the onset of symptoms. They are known as CA-MRSA infections and usually have special patterns of antibiotic resistance.

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

     People are advised not to use antibiotics without 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 observe good personal hygiene including washing hands with liquid soap frequently.

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

Ends/Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:15


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