NO flu deaths have occurred in Shenzhen this year, and the number of reported flu cases in the city's outpatient departments has shown a downward trend, according to the city's disease control and prevention center yesterday.
But that does not mean that residents should relax their vigilance against the flu, the center said in a press release. For the past three consecutive weeks, the center issued its highest alert against flu outbreak.
The proportion of flu cases in the city's outpatient departments has dropped from 4.98 percent to 4.64 percent over the past two weeks, according to the center.
Around 75.7 percent of reported flu cases in Shenzhen between January and July were Influenza A (H3) cases, while 16.8 percent were Influenza A (H1) cases and 7.5 percent were caused by Influenza B, meaning that the seasonal Influenza A (H3) is prevailing in the city.
The flu season in South China is usually between March and July, but the risk of a flu outbreak in Shenzhen has been reduced as all schools and kindergartens in the city are currently on summer break.
According to the center, the most effective way for residents to prevent getting a seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year because the level of their antibodies declines as time passes and they might not be able to defeat the flu viruses after variation. All residents above 60 years old with Shenzhen hukou and medical insurance can receive free flu and pneumonia vaccines at community clinics across the city.
Residents are advised to avoid going to crowded public places, avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, clean their hands often, frequently disinfect and ventilate their home, workplace or school, get plenty of sleep, and be physically active to prevent the flu, according to the center.
The center is closely monitoring the city's flu epidemic situation and border checkpoints have beefed up monitoring for influenza-like illnesses among travelers from Hong Kong.
The flu outbreak in Hong Kong caused 315 deaths as of Thursday, including three children, which is a higher death toll than the outbreak of SARS in 2003 that killed 299 people. There have been 458 severe flu cases, including 19 cases in children, reported in Hong Kong since May, according to China News Service.