Vigilance urged against community-associated MRSA

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (December 11) 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 a 52-year-old man living in Eastern District.

     The man, with terminal illness, was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on October 16 for chest pain. He was transferred to Tung Wah Hospital for palliative care on October 22. His condition gradually deteriorated. He was diagnosed as having pneumonia and he passed away on November 24.

     The tracheal aspirate specimen taken from the man grew CA-MRSA.

     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 health-care 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 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 11, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:29