Date
26 September 2017
Health authorities are urging the public, especially young children, to observe strict hygiene and get flu shots. Photo: Bloomberg
Health authorities are urging the public, especially young children, to observe strict hygiene and get flu shots. Photo: Bloomberg

Schoolchildren to get daily temperature checks amid flu fears

Schoolchildren are required to undergo daily body temperature checks under new Hong Kong health guidelines to prevent the spread of flu.

Those with body temperatures above 37.5 degrees celsius or ear temperatures above 38 degrees will not be allowed in class, Apple Daily reports, citing the Center for Health Protection (CHP).   

Schools have been told to report any absences or any increase in respiratory illness among students.

The announcement came after a six-year-old boy died of severe influenza B infection on Tuesday, the first child flu death this year.

The boy had suffered from fever, coughing and runny nose since Feb. 24.

He later developed stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea and was brought to Tseung Kwan O Hospital fives days later.

The boy’s elder sister who also has been admitted to Tseung Kwan O Hospital with upper respiratory symptoms is in stable condition.

The boy attended Po Leung Kuk Camões Tan Siu Lin Primary School in Mong Kok but no flu outbreak has been detected there.

The rest of his family members have not shown any symptoms. 

CHP controller Dr. Leung Ting-hung urged the public, particularly young children, to get flu shots and observe strict hygiene.

The boy was one of 10 patients under 18 diagnosed with complications associated with severe pediatric influenza, CHP data shows.

Flu-like outbreaks in schools and other institutions rose to 58 last week from six in the week to Feb. 20, CHP said.

Flu cases in primary schools, kindergartens and child care centers accounted for 84 percent of the total.

More than 60 people have died of flu this year, with the death rate at 1.6 percent, lower than the 2-3 percent in past years.

However, health authorities are warning that the number could rise with the peak flu season still ahead.

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TL/AC/RA

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