Flu bug be­gin­ning to re­treat in Guang­dong

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The in­ci­dence of flu has re­mained sta­ble in most parts of South China since the be­gin­ning of sum­mer, com­pared with the pre­vi­ous three years, China’s top health author­ity said on Thurs­day.

How­ever, the num­ber of flu cases re­ported in Guang­dong prov­ince this year reached nearly 75,000 as of Sun­day, a rise of 1.26 per­cent over the same pe­riod last year.

Guang­dong bor­ders Hong Kong, where flu has killed more than 300 peo­ple over the last three months, most of them el­derly with chronic dis­eases.

The Guang­dong fig­ures in­clude three deaths, com­pared with eight in the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to Guang­dong’s Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The flu is now at its end stage for the year in the prov­ince, the com­mis­sion said.

Song Shuli, spokes­woman of the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, said at a news con­fer­ence that the most preva­lent flu virus in China is still H3N2, and there have been no mu­ta­tions.

More than 99,000 flu cases were re­ported on the main­land be­tween May and July, in­clud­ing five deaths, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion.

In North China, flu peaks dur­ing the win­ter and spring ev­ery year. South China sees those peaks, too, but it typ­i­cally ex­pe­ri­ences a third peak in sum­mer.

In Guang­dong, the in­ci­dence of flu dur­ing sum­mer has been slightly higher than the three-year sea­sonal av­er­age, but flu has been in de­cline for the past three weeks, she said.

The com­mis­sion will con­tinue to guide health au­thor­i­ties in South China to in­ten­sify mon­i­tor­ing to pre­vent and con­trol the flu, and to im­prove res­cue ef­forts in crit­i­cal cases, she said.

Although sea­sonal flu peaks re­sult in a num­ber of se­ri­ous cases ev­ery year in China, most dis­play light symp­toms, and only a few re­sult in se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Chinese Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

The best way to pre­vent flu is to re­ceive a vac­cine, which is strongly rec­om­mended for groups at higher risk, such as preg­nant women, chil­dren un­der 5, the el­derly and those with chronic dis­eases, the cen­ter said. They are ad­vised to re­ceive an­tivi­ral treat­ments as early as pos­si­ble if they get flu symp­toms to pre­vent risks of com­pli­ca­tions, it said.

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