Summer flu season ends

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) today announced the end of the summer influenza season, which started in late August.


In the week ending October 28, the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for seasonal influenza viruses was 5.4% and the admission rate to public hospitals involving a principal diagnosis of influenza was 0.24 per 10,000 population.


Both numbers indicate a return to below the baseline level. The predominating virus was influenza A(H3), which accounted for around 85% of respiratory specimens collected.


Meanwhile, the number of reported influenza-like illness outbreaks decreased from 91 in the week ending September 23 to 23 in the week ending October 28.


There were 51 severe influenza cases, including those resulting in death, in the week ending September 30. For the week ending October 28, the figure had dropped to 28.


The CHP said the data mentioned indicates the influenza season is over and that it lasted 10 weeks. Based on historical data, however, it anticipates there will be another influenza season during the winter and urged people aged six months or above to receive a seasonal influenza vaccination.


It added that as influenza viruses and the SARS-CoV-2 virus may spread at the same time, members of the public – particularly children, seniors and patients with chronic diseases – are advised to receive a vaccination as early as possible.


Click here for information on COVID-19 and seasonal influenza vaccinations. Reservations for receiving jabs can be made online.

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