Date
19 October 2017
Experts urge the public to take all necessary precautions as the peak flu season could last until April. Photo: CNSA
Experts urge the public to take all necessary precautions as the peak flu season could last until April. Photo: CNSA

Peak flu season claims six lives in six days

Several deadly strains of influenza are active again in Hong Kong, killing six people from Feb. 24 to March 1, according to data from the Department of Health’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP).

They included two women and four men, aged between 75 and 89, who stayed in several hospitals across the territory before they died, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Four of the patients had been diagnosed with H3N2 influenza, one with H1N1 and another one with influenza A (pending determination of subtype).

The patients had been confined at the North District Hospital in Sheung Shui, Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po and Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.

One patient is said to be in severe condition.

Since Feb. 24, the CHP has been coordinating with the Hospital Authority and private hospitals to enhance surveillance of cases of severe seasonal influenza.

From Feb. 19-25, the center recorded 19 cases of influenza outbreaks in schools, affecting 90 people.

Another 15 outbreaks were confirmed in schools and residential care institutions from Feb. 26 to March 1, affecting 63 people.

The peak flu season arrived a little late this year, possible due to a warmer winter, Dr. David Hui Shu-cheong, a professor of respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told Apple Daily.

Hui warned that contracting H3N2 virus could be very risky to health and even life-threatening as it may lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure.

Dr. Cheng Chi-man, a family medicine practitioner, urged the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible as the peak flu season could last until April. 

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TL/AC/CG

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