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Cluster of three CA-MRSA cases under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 6) investigating a cluster of three cases of Community-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA) affecting three male students who lived in two rooms of the same dormitory of a boarding school in Stanley.

     The first case affected a 15-year-old with good past health who presented with painful swelling in his right buttock and left thigh since October 14. He was admitted to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital on October 21. His right buttock wound swab yielded CA-MRSA. His condition has been stable and he was discharged on October 23.

     Another case is a 14-year-old boy with good past health who attended the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of Tuen Mun Hospital on November 19 with pain and swelling in his right knee. The culture of his wound swab showed CA-MRSA and he is currently in stable condition.

     The third case is a boy aged 13 with good past health who presented with pain in his left forehead since November 2. He attended the AED of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on November 6 and was diagnosed as having left forehead folliculitis with abscess. His wound swab grew CA-MRSA and he is in a stable condition.

     Staff of the CHP have conducted a site visit to the school and advised it to carry out a thorough disinfection. Symptomatic students were advised to seek medical attention and swabs will be taken for testing to confirm the diagnosis. Screening and decolonisation were also provided to the rest of the students.

     The investigation is still underway.

     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. Their cases 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 spokesperson 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, the public may visit the website of the CHP (

Ends/Thursday, December 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:58


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