Filipinos traveling to Hong Kong and those staying there have been advised to take precautions against a widespread influenza epidemic there.
The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong said that as of Feb. 5, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection noted a death toll of 118 and 187 severe cases this year.
“Influenza (flu) is an acute illness of the respiratory tract caused by influenza viruses. It is usually more common in periods from January to March and from July to August in Hong Kong,” it said.
Of the three types of influenza viruses recognized – A, B, and C – Influenza A (H1N1) virus has become one of the seasonal influenza strains in Hong Kong, it said.
“The winter’s dominant virus strain is a mutated variant of H3N2,” it added.
The Consulate said it will monitor developments. In the meantime, it urged Filipinos to check the CHP webpage www.chp.gov.hk or call its hotline at 2125-1111.