(CNS): The George Town hospital has confirmed that it has dealt with some 32 cases of the hospital super-bug MRSA over the last two years. But officials told CNS that the HSA is tackling the super-bug and an infection control surveillance system has been in place since 1990 to identify and track all incidences of hospital acquired infections, which includes MRSA. CNS requested information from the Health Services Authority regarding the super-bug after reports from readers that they were struggling to get a diagnosis but believed that had contracted the antibiotic resistant MRSA at the local facility.Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is the most common ‘super-bug’ found in hospitals and it is plaguing medical facilities around the world.
A spokesperson for the Health Services Authority (HSA) said that its laboratories confirmed eight cases in 2013, 15 last year and another eight so far this year. Problematic for hospitals because of its resistance to antibiotics, officials told CNS that the local hospital has antibiotics available that can treat and cure MRSA.
“In order to control the spread of MRSA the HSA pro-actively screens all susceptible patients for MRSA, this includes patients with a previous diagnosis of MRSA, patients who have been hospitalised overseas and are being transferred back to the hospital, persons admitted with wounds or other breaks in the skin,” a spokesperson said. “Staphylococcus aureus is an organism commonly found on the skin therefore healthy persons can become carriers of MRSA and not have any ill effects from the organism until they have other health issues.”
She explained that the infection control surveillance system at the hospital is geared towards preventing an outbreak of MRSA in the in-patient units. “Patients who are diagnosed with MRSA are cared for in single rooms and put on the required treatment. Following treatment the test is repeated, patients have to have three consecutive negative cultures before being declared MRSA free. Strict adherence to hand washing is essential to ensure that the organism is not passed from person to person.”
MRSA and similar super-bugs present ongoing problems to the medical community as they become increasingly resistant to most antibiotics not least, experts believe, because of massive over and unnecessary prescription of antibiotics in recent years.
One in every three people are believed to carry the bug as a harmless organism on moist parts of the body like hands, noses and armpits. In the majority of cases it does no harm because it doesn’t reach the bloodstream or the immune system is strong enough to repel infection. But it becomes a serious problem for those who are sick and vulnerable especially after an operation.