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August 28, 2009

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High-risk flu groups targeted

THE Hong Kong Hospital Authority yesterday said antiviral treatment and tests for swine flu will be reserved for groups of high-risk patients.

Tests for the H1N1 influenza are not routine for flu-like illness patients in general but for high-risk patients including those below the age of six, pregnant women, patients with fevers after 48 hours of symptomatic treatment and those with chronic diseases, a spokesman for the authority said.

In recent weeks, the authority has noted a surge in attendance at Accident and Emergency Departments despite the opening of eight Designated Flu Clinics that have been in operation every day since June 13 and provided consultation to more than 40,000 patients.

In the past four weeks, the average daily attendance at the 16 AEDs increased from 5,807 in the last week of July to 6,244 in the past week, with attendance peaking at over 6,900 on Monday.

The spokesman said patients with flu-like illness seeking consultation at either DFCs or AEDs will be assessed by clinicians to determine the course of treatment. They will also determine the need, if any, for further investigation and hospital admission.


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