The University of Hong Kong’s Infectious Disease Center is reporting that MRSA cases have risen dramatically – from 3 in 2004 to already 26 this year (2006). MRSA infections are not yet reportable in Hong Kong, but the Infectous Disease Center is putting pressure on the government to make it so.
Raymond Yung Wai-hung, head of the infection-control branch at the department’s Centre for Health Protection, said the trend is worrying but stressed there has been no indication of an outbreak.
Yung said transmission is mainly through close contact with wounds.
“The bacteria usually cause skin and soft tissue infections, and sometimes life-threatening pneumonia and septicemia,” Yung said. This may result in multiple organ dysfunction and eventual death.
Hong Kong University infectious disease expert Ho Pak-leung urged the government to tighten the surveillance system, making such infections notifiable.
Yung said the department may categorize superbug infection a notifiable disease, partly because of its potential to cause a public health hazard. But he did not give a timetable.