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The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 3) reported that local seasonal influenza activity has been increasing in the past two weeks, and appealed to the community for heightened vigilance as Hong Kong will enter the winter influenza season soon.

Please access the links below for the details of the press release:
English version: http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201801/03/P2018010300699.htm
Chinese version: http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201801/03/P2018010300695.htm

The latest surveillance data showed that the local seasonal influenza activity steadily increased from a baseline level. The CHP anticipated that the seasonal influenza activity will continue to increase and the winter influenza season in Hong Kong will arrive soon. Members of the public should maintain good personal protection against influenza.

Particularly, children, the elderly and those with underlying illnesses are urged to get vaccinated as early as possible to prevent seasonal influenza as it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. They should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop so that appropriate treatment can be initiated as early as possible to prevent potential complications. Parents and carers are reminded to render assistance in prevention, care and control for vulnerable people.

Following the end of the Christmas and New Year holidays, the management of schools should stay alert to seasonal influenza, which may lead to outbreaks when classes resume. Schools are reminded to actively check the body temperature of all students every day when they arrive at school to identify those with fever. The CHP will issue letters to kindergartens and child care centres as well as primary and secondary schools on the above additional measure. To prevent outbreaks, those with fever (oral temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius or ear temperature over 38 degrees), with or without respiratory symptoms, should not be allowed to attend school. Schools should advise them to seek medical advice and avoid school till two days after fever subsides.

In addition, staff should check their temperature before work every day and those with fever or respiratory illnesses should refrain from work.

Besides receiving seasonal influenza vaccination as early as possible for personal protection, the public should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene for protection against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:

•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 as an effective alternative;
•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 in such places; and
•Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.

The public may visit the CHP’s influenza page and weekly Flu Express for more information.

Department of Health

 

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