The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced today that an addition 18 influenza-related deaths were recorded during the past 24 hours during this harsh  winter influenza season.

generic influenza virion
3D influenza/CDC

There were 22 additional cases of influenza-associated admission to intensive care units or death (including 18 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, bringing the total to 322 (228 deaths) so far.


Ninety-five percent of the flu cases were H3N2 influenza (306) this year to date.

This compares to the last winter influenza season in early 2014 when 266 cases and 133 deaths were filed.

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 14 (no deaths) and all were A(H3N2). In 2014, 27 (four deaths) were filed.

The CHP reminds the public to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene against influenza and other respiratory illnesses:

* Receive seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection;
* Wash hands with liquid soap and water properly whenever possibly contaminated;
* When hands are not visibly soiled, clean them with 70 to 80 per cent alcohol-based handrub;
* Wash or clean hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, or after touching public installations such as handrails or door knobs;
* Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;
* Dispose of soiled tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
* Put on a surgical mask when respiratory symptoms develop;
* Maintain good indoor ventilation;
* When influenza is prevalent, avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places; high-risk individuals may consider putting on surgical masks when staying in such places; and
* Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take adequate rest, do not smoke and avoid overstress.