Hong Kong’s influenza season ends with significant decrease in cases

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25th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health in Hong Kong has announced the end of the influenza season which began in early April this year. The spokesperson for the CHP stated that the influenza activity in Hong Kong has decreased gradually since reaching its peak in late April and has returned to the baseline level in the week ending 20th May. The predominating virus during the period was influenza A(H1), accounting for around 80% of the respiratory specimens collected.

According to the latest surveillance data, the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for seasonal influenza viruses peaked at 18.2% in the week ending 22nd April and declined to 3.83% in the week ending 20th May. The admission rate with the principal diagnosis of influenza in public hospitals also decreased from a peak of 1.13 (per 10,000 population) to 0.23 (per 10,000 population).

The CHP has reminded the public to continue to maintain personal, hand, and environmental hygiene to prevent respiratory infections including COVID-19. People aged six months or above who have not yet received the seasonal influenza vaccination in the 2022/23 season can still receive the vaccine to enhance personal protection.

Moreover, the CHP has been closely monitoring the local COVID-19 situation. The number of newly recorded positive nucleic acid test laboratory detections in the last seven days (18th to 24th May) ranged from 467 to 554 with no significant upward trend. The number of daily new admissions to public hospitals and newly reported critical or severe cases in public hospitals have remained stable. The XBB and its sub-lineages have become the predominating variant locally during 18th to 24th May, accounting for 88.3% of all characterised specimens, while other non-XBB variants accounted for around 12%.