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September 26, 2009

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Hong Kong adjusts swine flu monitoring

NEW indicators will be used to monitor the spread of swine flu in Hong Kong, Center for Health Protection Controller Thomas Tsang said yesterday, adding that tests will only be conducted on patients with special medical conditions.

Tsang said as the flu had become widespread in Hong Kong it was the right time to adjust the government's monitoring strategies.

Noting that the number of newly confirmed cases cannot fully reflect the real situation, Tsang said three new indicators will be used to assess the situation. They include: the percentage testing positive to A/H1N1 flu at flu clinics; flu surveillance at flu clinics; influenza-like illness surveillance among private doctors.

From September 28, the center will no longer release the number of new cases daily. However, the daily announcements of fatal or critical cases, and school outbreaks, will remain.

Laboratory testing will also be adjusted. Lab tests will only be conducted on flu patients who are pregnant; aged below one year; health care staff; patients in institutions without flu outbreaks; patients with persistent fever or whose condition deteriorates after treatment.


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