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Latest update on surveillance data in winter influenza season

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 19) reported the latest surveillance data of the winter influenza season, and again urged the public to heighten vigilance and get vaccinated early against seasonal influenza.

     Regarding severe cases, from noon yesterday (March 18) to noon today, five additional cases of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death (including three deaths) among adults aged 18 or above had been recorded under the enhanced surveillance in collaboration with public and private hospitals reactivated since January 2. Two additional deaths were recorded among previously reported cases, bringing the total to 534 (404 deaths) so far. Among them, 505 were A(H3N2), seven were A(H1N1)pdm09, seven were A pending subtype and 15 were B. In the last winter season in early 2014, 266 cases (133 deaths) were filed.

     Last week (from March 8 to 14), 36 cases (29 deaths) were recorded. Separately, a daily average of 5.7 cases (4.4 deaths) were filed in the last seven days (from March 12 to 18), compared with 6.7 cases (5.3 deaths) in the preceding seven days (from March 5 to 11).

     Meanwhile, no additional cases of severe paediatric influenza-associated complications or death among children aged under 18 have been reported since yesterday via the ongoing reporting system. The total this year remains 18 (one death) and all were A(H3N2). In 2014, 27 cases (four deaths) were filed.

     Turning to influenza-like illness, three institutional outbreaks (affecting 10 persons) were reported to the CHP yesterday by residential care homes for the elderly (two outbreaks, seven persons) and a school (one outbreak, three persons).

     The public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:

* Receive seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
* Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly whenever possibly contaminated;
* When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub;
* Wash or clean hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, or after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs;
* Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
* Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
* Put on a surgical mask when respiratory symptoms develop;
* Maintain good indoor ventilation;
* When influenza is prevalent, avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks when staying in such places; and
* Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, have adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.

     The public may visit the CHP's pages below for more information:

* The influenza page (;
* The weekly Flu Express report (;
* The update on severe seasonal influenza cases (;
* The vaccination schemes page (;
* The list of participating doctors (;
* The Facebook Page (; and
* The YouTube Channel (

Ends/Thursday, March 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:27


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