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Flu bug beginning to retreat in Guangdong

By Wang Xiaodong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-11 08:22

The incidence of flu has remained stable in most parts of South China since the beginning of summer, compared with the previous three years, China's top health authority said on Thursday.

However, the number of flu cases reported in Guangdong province this year reached nearly 75,000 as of Sunday, a rise of 1.26 percent over the same period last year.

Guangdong borders Hong Kong, where flu has killed more than 300 people over the last three months, most of them elderly with chronic diseases.

The Guangdong figures include three deaths, compared with eight in the same period last year, according to Guangdong's Health and Family Planning Commission.

The flu is now at its end stage for the year in the province, the commission said.

Song Shuli, spokeswoman of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a news conference that the most prevalent flu virus in China is still H3N2, and there have been no mutations.

More than 99,000 flu cases were reported on the mainland between May and July, including five deaths, according to the commission.

In North China, flu peaks during the winter and spring every year. South China sees those peaks, too, but it typically experiences a third peak in summer.

In Guangdong, the incidence of flu during summer has been slightly higher than the three-year seasonal average, but flu has been in decline for the past three weeks, she said.

The commission will continue to guide health authorities in South China to intensify monitoring to prevent and control the flu, and to improve rescue efforts in critical cases, she said.

Although seasonal flu peaks result in a number of serious cases every year in China, most display light symptoms, and only a few result in serious complications, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The best way to prevent flu is to receive a vaccine, which is strongly recommended for groups at higher risk, such as pregnant women, children under 5, the elderly and those with chronic diseases, the center said. They are advised to receive antiviral treatments as early as possible if they get flu symptoms to prevent risks of complications, it said.

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