Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Taiwan's Summer H3N2 Epidemic Continues Near Peak

Credit Taiwan's Flu Express Week 28


While not as severe as what is being reported in Hong Kong (see HKU Experts Call For Deploying Prophylactic Tamiflu To Avert Crisis) - after a lackluster winter flu season - Taiwan has been dealing with its own out-of-season summer flu surge since early May.    
Like Hong Kong, their current epidemic is primarily due to H3N2. Two weeks ago, Taiwan's CDC announced that their flu had peaked, and was beginning to decline.
While that trend continues, today Taiwan's CDC warns that flu continues near its peak, and  announced that over the past week local ERs saw more than 106,000 flu cases, 101 were diagnosed as `severe', and that 13 people died from flu-related illness.

Domestic influenza epidemic continues to decline, but still in the epidemic peak, people do not take it lightly

UNDCP said the domestic influenza flu epidemic for three consecutive weeks of decline, the other influenza and severe cases and confirmed cases also decreased for 2 weeks; but the number of influenza treatment is still more, and continued severe cases, the overall epidemic is still popular peak, To remind people to ignore the symptoms of influenza, such as signs of severe risk, please seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the risk of concurrent serious illness, and please keep a good hand and respiratory health, and the implementation of sick at home to rest.

According to the monitoring data, the number of visits was 106,005 last week (July 16 to July 22), down 8.6% from the previous week (115,987 person-times) and has been falling for 3 consecutive weeks. The upper respiratory tract / The number of cases reported in the past three weeks was flat, but the number of new notifications was lower than that in mid to late June, among which 16 were positive for influenza test, and the population was densely located (12). Laboratory data showed that H3N2 was predominantly in community epidemic virus type, and only about 9% of influenza virus was detected in influenza B virus. The antigenicity monitoring data showed that 95% H3N2 virus coincided with the influenza vaccine group.

101 cases of influenza infection last week to determine the case, to determine the number of cases for 2 consecutive weeks of decline, the case of infection type to H3N2 for more; another 13 cases of severe death cases, the age of onset ranging from 54 to 96 years old, Have a chronic history, infection type 11 cases of H3N2 and 2 cases of type B. July 1, 2016 so far accumulated 1,194 cases of influenza complicated with severe cases, of which 121 died. At present, the flu epidemic has been the highest point, showing a downward trend, according to the trend of the epidemic over the years, the number of new cases of severe disease is expected to slow down with the mild epidemic after the decline.

The KPC reiterates its appeal that if people have flu-like symptoms, please go to the nearest public influenza influenza antiviral contract clinic for medical treatment, to avoid concentrating on the emergency hospital, where the doctor to determine compliance with the use of public drug use conditions, without fast screening, The use of public anti-viral agents; but if there are breathing difficulties, rapid, cyanosis (hypoxia), blood sputum or sputum thickening, chest pain, changes in consciousness, hypotension and other signs of influenza risk, you should try to the largest hospital for treatment The Information can be found on the UNDG Global Information Network (influenza area) (http://www.cdc.gov.tw) or by calling the Free Epidemic Prevention Line 1922 (or 0800-001922).

The exact reasons behind this summer's unusually severe flu in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and (reportedly) Southeast China isn't known, although last week researchers at the University of Hong Kong suggested it might be due to small mutation in the virus (see The Enigmatic, Problematic H3N2 Influenza Virus).

Mutation or not, this is a reminder that seasonal influenza can be quite deadly, and that it doesn't always follow the `rules'.

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