Forty-four influenza patients aged 18 or above were hospitalized for intensive care in Hong Kong over a seven-day period until March 9, with 24 of those people succumbing to the virus, according to Headline Daily.
Citing data released by the Center for Health Protection (CHP), the report said the death toll marks the highest in a single week this year.
As of March 9, a total of 198 adult severe infection cases were recorded this year, including 73 deaths.
Meanwhile, schools continued to see more outbreaks.
Sixty-five students from three kindergartens — in Yuen Long, Ma On Shan and Fanling — suffered from flu in the past two weeks.
Six of them were discharged from hospital after treatment. All of the pupils are stable.
Government data also showed that in the week of Feb. 28 to March 5, the average consultation rate for influenza-like illness among private doctors was 82.3 cases per 1,000 consultations, the highest rate since 2010.
In general outpatient clinics, 11.7 cases were recorded per 1,000 consultations.
The health center urged children and the elderly to be vigilant and get vaccinated against seasonal flu, warning that it can cause serious illnesses in high-risk individuals and even healthy persons.
As the weather turned cold again starting Thursday, flu cases could rise further, Dr Chan Ming-wai, president of the Hong Kong college of General Practitioners, was quoted as saying.
Seasonal flu could last longer now than in the past, the doctor warned.
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