The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 2) 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 82-year-old woman living in Central and Western district.
The woman, with underlying illness, had been admitted to Grantham Hospital for underlying medical problem since November 30, 2011.
She presented with increased shortness of breath and sputum production on February 17. Her sputum culture grew CA-MRSA.
The woman is currently in serious condition. Her 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 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, www.chp.gov.hk.
Ends/Friday, March 2, 2012