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Flu cases expected to rise as temperatures dip over holiday

08 February 2024


Wear masks and take the flu shot, this is what doctors are saying amid the cold weather

Doctors are again advising people to wear masks and get vaccinated against the flu, as temperatures are forecast to plummet over the New Year holiday.

The Observatory says temperatures will fall progressively over the next few days, with the lowest of between 11 and 12 degrees being registered on both Lunar New Year’s Eve tomorrow and New Year’s Day on Saturday.

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In a recent radio interview Dr David Hui of Chinese University in Hong Kong said that while the number of flu cases has dropped along with hospital admissions, there had been 27 cases of adults coming down with severe flu, and 20 of them died as a result.

He said only eight of the deceased had been vaccinated against the flu, so he urged everyone, including young children, to take the jab. He said there had been cases of young unvaccinated children developing complications like encephalitis after catching the flu.


Hui warned that the spread of flu is influenced by weather conditions, and the virus is known to be less active during warmer seasons, so people in Hong Kong should take extra care now that the city is again experiencing a cold snap.

“It’s related to the weather, the virus is less active when it’s warm,” Hui said on air. “In the coming Lunar New Year holiday, the number of infections may rebound anytime as the north winds arrive.”


He advised people to take precautions when going out, including wearing a mask, but they should also consider just staying at home if they want to feel safer.

Hui also said that the Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong is relatively stable, although there are currently about 460 infected people receiving treatment in public hospitals. He also said there have been recorded cases of severe illness and death.

He added laboratory monitoring data showed an increase in the viral load within the community as the number of coronavirus cases rise, and warned of a simultaneous flu and Covid-19 cases peaking between January and March.

He urged the government to invest more in public health facilities and research to strengthen the city’s ability to fight pandemics.

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