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Flu claims almost 100 in Hong Kong

(Global Times)

08:03, May 21, 2012

Influenza claimed the lives of nine Hong Kong residents in the week preceding local health authorities' bulletin issued Thursday, bringing the total number of people killed by the viruses so far this year to 98.

The latest report released by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of Hong Kong says the flu season has not yet peaked and is likely to last throughout the summer, the local newspaper Wen Wei Po reported over the weekend.

Since the beginning of this year, some 160 people suffered serious illness caused by flu viruses. Most people who were stricken also suffered from disabilities or other chronic diseases and were elderly, according to the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong.

Thomas Tsang, controller of the CHP, said that influenza A (H3) viruses are similar to viruses detected in other Asian nations. Tsang believes that tamiflu vaccine remains an effective way for people to protect themselves from the flu.

According to a recent survey by Hong Kong University, eight pigs in a pool of more than 1,100 that were examined to contain the genes of H1N1 viruses, or the swine flu.

Experts say the H1N1 subtypes do not pose a serious public health risk nor, will it impact food safety. They urge residents to ensure the pork they consume is cooked to more than 70 C.

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