Via the Centre for Health Protection: Increase in influenza activity in Hong Kong. Excerpt:
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (January 6) called on the public to maintain vigilance against seasonal influenza as the latest surveillance data shows an increase in local influenza activity and signalling the impending arrival of the winter influenza season.
The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP has detected an increase in the number of influenza detections recently. The number of influenza virus detections reported increased from 65 in the week ending December 7, 2013 to 245 in the week ending January 4, 2014.
The percentage of respiratory specimens tested positive for influenza viruses has also increased from 2.5 per cent for specimens received in the week ending December 8, 2013 to 8.3 per cent in the week ending December 29, 2013.
The current circulating influenza viruses for the past one week included influenza A(H3N2) (50.6 per cent), influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (30.2 per cent) and influenza B (18.8 per cent). The viruses characterised to date were similar to the current vaccine viruses in Hong Kong.
To monitor the influenza activity and the severity of illness, similar to previous influenza seasons, the CHP has collaborated with the Hospital Authority and private hospitals to reactivate the enhanced surveillance system to monitor influenza-associated deaths and admissions to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) since January 3.
From January 3 to noon January 6, 5 cases (aged 18 or above) of influenza-associated ICU admission/death (no death case) were recorded. At the same time, the CHP will continue to closely monitor cases involving severe paediatric influenza-associated complication/death. There were no paediatric cases of influenza associated severe complication reported in 2014.