SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

CHP announces novel CA-MRSA case

The Hong Kong Department of Health's Centre for Health Protection announced on Thursday that it is currently investigating a novel case of pneumonia cause by community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

The patient is a 22-year-old male, considered to have a good health history. On January 13, he fell ill with cough, chest pain, shortness of breath and blood-stained sputum and was later admitted to Ruttonjee Hospital on January 15 for pneumonia.

The patient's sputum samples, which were tested by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch, revealed CA-MRSA infection. The patient remained in stable condition, however, and was discharged from the hospital on January 28.

The patient had no recent history of travel and his home contact is asymptomatic. The CHP continues its investigation and warns the public to remain diligent against CA-MRSA infection.

CA-MRSA infections typically have specific patterns of antibiotic resistance and are relatively common in healthy individuals with no history of hospitalization or surgery. It is believed that the widespread use of antibiotics can, however, contribute to CA-MRSA infection.

The CHP recommends that the public refrain from antibiotic use without first seeking medical advice. If a medical professional does recommend antibiotic use, it is important that the patient take only the prescribed dosage at the recommended frequency. The CHP also recommends that the public mind personal hygiene, such as washing hands, as a way to keep infection at bay.