Public reminded to guard against community-associated MRSA
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (September 16) called on people to maintain vigilance against infection from community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a drug resistant bacterium, despite a fall in the number of confirmed cases from 37 in July to 24 in August.
(Media-Newswire.com) - The Centre for Health Protection ( CHP ) of the Department of Health today ( September 16 ) called on people to maintain vigilance against infection from community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus ( CA-MRSA ), a drug resistant bacterium, despite a fall in the number of confirmed cases from 37 in July to 24 in August.
The cases in August comprised 16 males and eight females aged between two and 84.
A CHP spokesman said all these cases were sporadic and no further person-to-person transmission had occurred.
“Twenty-three of the cases have recovered while the remaining one passed away on August 19,” he said.
The fatal case involved an 84-year-old man with chronic disease. He developed respiratory symptoms on August 13 and was admitted to a private hospital in Kowloon on the same day. He died on August 19 because of pneumonia and his own chronic illness.
MRSA is a type of staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. It is a common infection worldwide and is usually associated with hospital settings.
However, in recent years, many countries observed MRSA infections among healthy individuals in the community.
It is mainly transmitted through direct contact with wounds, discharge and soiled areas, usually via hands, which may then contaminate other areas of the body, items or surfaces.
Symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, skin tenderness or pus drainage. Sometimes more serious effects such as purulent wound infections and severe pneumonia may occur, requiring hospitalisation and special antibiotics for treatment.
The spokesman said the risk of transmission could be minimised by maintaining good personal hygiene including washing hands with soap frequently and wearing gloves when touching grossly soiled items.
"People should clean any broken skin with waterproof adhesive bandages and wash hands before and after touching wounds.
"If they have an open wound, they should avoid contact sports and visiting public bath houses. They should also avoid sharing personal items such as unlaundered towels, clothing or uniforms and razors," the spokesman said.
People should pay special attention to personal hygiene while taking antibiotics as loss of normal bacterial flora during that period predisposes them to CA-MRSA infection. They should eat only well-cooked food and drink boiled water.
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