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Flu advice issued as rates rise

January 21, 2015

The Centre for Health Protection has urged the public to raise their guard against influenza, as infection rates rise.


The percentage of specimens testing positive for influenza increased from 9.22% in late December to 29.03% last week, with over 90% involving influenza A (H3N2).


The number of institutional outbreaks rose from eight (affecting 53 people) in the first week of 2015 to 41 last week, affecting 243 people.


Influenza consultation rates at general out-patient clinics and private doctors increased. In general out-patient clinics, the rate rose from 5.3 cases per 1,000 consultations in the first week of 2015 to 7.2 last week, while that among private doctors rose from 39.5 to 57.9.


Since January 2 there have been 70 cases, including 31 deaths, of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death among adult patients.


All viruses detected this season are sensitive to antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza.


As of January 18 about 219,000 and 212,000 doses of seasonal influenza vaccines have been administered under the Government Vaccination Programme and the Vaccination Subsidy Schemes 2014-15.


The centre urged the public to heighten vigilance against the infection and to get vaccinated early.