The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (March 10) reported the latest surveillance data of the winter influenza season, and again urged the public to heighten vigilance and get vaccinated early against seasonal influenza.

Regarding severe cases, from noon yesterday (March 9) to noon today, six additional cases of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death (including five deaths) among adults aged 18 or above had been recorded under the enhanced surveillance in collaboration with public and private hospitals reactivated since January 2, bringing the total to 480 (359 deaths) so far. Among them, 457 were A(H3N2), five were A(H1N1)pdm09, seven were A pending subtype and 11 were B. In the last winter season in early 2014, 266 cases (133 deaths) were filed.

Last week (from March 1 to 7), 57 cases (44 deaths) were recorded. Separately, a daily average of 7.6 cases (6.3 deaths) were filed in the last seven days (from March 3 to 9), compared with 8.4 cases (5.9 deaths) in the preceding seven days (from February 24 to March 2).

Meanwhile, no additional cases of severe paediatric influenza-associated complication or death among children aged under 18 have been reported since yesterday via the ongoing reporting system, and the total this year hence remains at 17 (one death) and all were A(H3N2). In 2014, 27 cases (four deaths) were filed.

Turning to influenza-like illness, three institutional outbreaks (affecting 17 persons) were reported to the CHP yesterday (March 9) by residential care homes for the elderly (two outbreaks, nine persons) and primary schools (one outbreak, eight persons).