Hong Kong health officials reported the latest surveillance data on the winter influenza season and are reporting a significantly heavier season concerning severe flu and flu deaths than in 2014.

Hong Kong/CIA
Hong Kong/CIA

Just in the past 24 hours, nine additional cases of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death (eight deaths) among adults aged 18 or above have been recorded under the enhanced surveillance in collaboration with public and private hospitals reactivated since January 2.

This brings the total number to 291 (204 deaths) so far. Among all cases, 279 were A(H3N2), six were B and six were A pending subtype. In the last winter season in early 2014, 266 (133 deaths) were filed.

“The current influenza activity in Hong Kong is very high and may further increase in the coming weeks,” the Hospital Authority said in an internal report released on Friday.

In addition, the supply of the antiviral drug, Tamiflu (oseltamivir) appears to have been exhausted in health facilities in the city.  Physicians, hospitals and clinics expressed fear that additional supplies may not be available for another week while the number of cases continues to grow.

Concerning pediatric flu in Hong Kong, the total number of cases this year stands at 14 (no deaths). Among these cases, 13 were A(H3N2) and one was A pending subtype. In 2014, 27 (four deaths) were filed.