Beijing's flu cases slow after December peak

Updated 2018-01-22 15:22:00

Beijing is seeing a slower growth of influenza cases and expects fewer infections in the following week, the city's Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning said on Monday.

The reported flu cases in Beijing surged at the beginning of December by 121.76 percent month-on-month along with the number of cases nationwide, triple the number from the month before.

In the second week of the new year, Beijing reported 10,215 influenza cases, up from 9,548 in the first week by 6.99 percent. The month-on-month growth has dropped substantially from nearly 122 percent at the beginning of last December.

The exceedingly infectious virus spread across the country causing a dramatic growth in the number of cases last December. The disease caused three deaths per month on average last year with higher death rate either at the end of the year when the flu season kicked in.

Hospitals across China have been overwhelmed with flu patients since last October when the flu reason started to sprout. Major hospitals in Beijing can finally see a decrease in the number of flu cases treated, according to the commission.

A mixture of type A viruses, which include H3N3 and H1N1, and type B Yamagata virus are what make this time's flu severe. Common syndromes during this flu season include high fevers, coughs, headaches, fatigue, and body soreness.

Deputy director of Chinese Center for Disease Control, Feng Zijian encourages families, especially the ones with the elderly and children, to get vaccinated adequately before the flu season in the future.

"The vaccination rate is low in China," Feng told CGTN America.

Feng said the center supply some 26 million vaccinations each year to the public, but after a regular vaccination period, there are still some 6 million vaccinations left.

To improve the coverage, cities across the country, including Beijing, started providing flu shots for free for children and young adults in schools and the seniors at the clinics.

In fact, the Beijing local government has been publishing a policy since 2007 providing free flu shots to the elderly over 60 years, who hold official Beijing residency.

There are still more to be done.

Such shots are not commonly provided in companies across China, though many would encourage employees to do so and offer to cover the bill. Campaigns that promote flu shots are less likely to be seen in everyday life.

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