After spending one and a half month in hospital, Ankita Thakur (11) is all set to return home. The relief of returning home is understandable as Thakur was struggling with a bacterial infection which gave her severe hip pain, fever, breathlessness and vomiting.
Thakur was in school when she first experienced an unbearable pain in her hip and later got fever. Her parents describe this period as nothing less than a nightmare to see their daughter struggle with a pain in her hip that they initially thought was minor injury.
“It was beginning of her ordeal. She has been in hospital since then. She had fever, vomiting and breathlessness. When local hospital couldn’t treat her, we shifted her to Bombay hospital,” said Punita, Ankita’s mother.
Doctors blame her condition to ‘Community acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA)’– a bacterial infection.
MRSA infection is of two types. One is acquired from the hospital, which is known as hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA), and the other is CA-MRSA, where the person who has not been hospitalised or have not undergone a medical procedure in a year’s time is infected.
“Unlike hospital -acquired MRSA, this one is virulent. In last six months, doctors treating Thakur said they have treated two children for CA-MRSA, which is a kind of significant number. “Both the children had no history of being in hospital. The first one was a 5-year-old and was hospitalised for nearly three months and was critical. In Thakur’s case, we were well prepared to handle the infection,” said Dr Mukesh Sanklecha, paediatrician, Bombay Hospital.
He added that while HA-MRSA is known, CA-MRSA is gaining in significance in respect to patient morbidity.
“However, there is little or no significant research on the same,” said Sanklecha.
Doctors say MRSA is in itself fallout of long term antibiotic abuse. “MRSA is a resistant organism that has come into existence because of overuse and abuse of antibiotics in both community and healthcare professionals. We have a module in place in Indian Academy of Paediatrics where doctors are advised to rationalise the use of antibiotics,” said Dr Bakul Parekh, general secretary, Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP).
He said CA-MRSA needs to be suspected in children having skin infection along with respiratory infection and high toxicity.
Doctors say along with rational use of antibiotics by health-care professionals, hand hygiene should also be followed.
“Poor infection control is another prime reason behind rise in antibiotic resistance. Simple things like washing hands can go long way in controlling antibiotic resistance,” said Dr Mandar Kubal, from Infectious Diseases & Pulmonary Care, Chembur.