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End of summer influenza season

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 5) reported the latest surveillance data of the summer influenza season, which showed that the overall influenza activity had further decreased last week, indicating the end of the summer season, lasting about eight weeks since mid-June.

     Regarding laboratory surveillance, the percentage that tested positive for seasonal influenza viruses decreased to 6.7 per cent last week from 10.3 per cent in the preceding one among respiratory specimens received by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch as compared to the peak at 26.0 per cent in the week ending July 4.

     As for severe cases, as of yesterday (August 4), a total of 183 cases of influenza-associated admission to intensive care unit or death, including 133 deaths, among adults aged 18 or above had been recorded under the enhanced surveillance in collaboration with public and private hospitals reactivated since June 12. Among them, 133 were A(H3N2), two were A(H1N1)pdm09, 28 were A pending subtype, 19 were B and one contracted both A(H3N2) and B. In the winter season in early 2015, 647 cases, including 501 deaths, were filed.

     In the same period, four cases (no deaths) of severe paediatric influenza-associated complication among children aged under 18 had been reported via the ongoing reporting system and all were A(H3N2). In the winter season earlier this year, 18 cases, including one death, were filed.

     In addition, the influenza-associated admission rates in public hospitals among children aged under 5 and the elderly aged 65 or above were respectively 0.49 and 0.31 cases per 10 000 persons last week, both dropping from the peaks of 3.26 in the week ending June 20 and 2.26 in that ending July 4 respectively.

     "We will continue to closely monitor local and overseas influenza activity through a wide range of surveillance data and report in the weekly Flu Express online to update members of the public on the latest situation," a spokesman for the CHP said.

Ends/Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:15


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