Case of community-associated MRSA infection under CHP investigation

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (January 21) investigating a case of pneumonia caused by community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a drug-resistant bacterium, and hence appealed to members of the public to stay vigilant against CA-MRSA.

     The male patient, aged 33 with good past health, presented with a cough and blood-stained sputum since December 30, 2013, and fever since January 2, 2014. He was admitted to a private hospital on January 5.

     The clinical diagnosis was pneumonia. He was discharged on January 9 and is currently in a stable condition. His sputum culture yielded CA-MRSA upon laboratory testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch.

     Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient travelled to the Mainland from December 17 to 18. His home contacts are 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 stayed in other health care 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 spokesman for the CHP said.

     People are advised not to use antibiotics without professional medical 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.

     The public may visit the CHP's CA-MRSA page ( for further information and preventive advice.

Ends/Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:49