The outbreak of seasonal influenza has raised concerns in Hong Kong. Official figures show the latest flu pandemic has already caused more than 320 deaths. The illness has also spread to neighboring Guangdong Province.
Local authorities estimate the death rate for summer flu this year will be less than 2.1 percent, given that most patients recover in two to seven days. In past flu seasons, the death rate has ranged from 1.9 percent to 3.3 percent. People above the age of 65 are typically the most common victims.
This is because many of them have chronic diseases or a weaker immune system. In addition, the illness can trigger other complications that can cause death.
"We didn't expect such a severe situation this year. More people have come to hospitals for treatment. Fortunately, the number of flu cases has been declining over the past week, but we still need to keep a close watch on it," said Chan Siu-Chee, secretary of the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau.