New indicators will be used to monitor the spread of influenza A/H1N1 in Hong Kong, Center for Health Protection Controller Thomas Tsang said on Friday, adding that tests for the new flu will only be conducted on patients with special medical conditions.
Speaking at a press conference Friday afternoon, Tsang said as influenza A/H1N1 has become widespread in Hong Kong and it is the right time to adjust the government's monitoring strategies.
Noting the number of newly confirmed cases cannot fully reflect the real situation, he said three new indicators will be used to assess the situation. They include: the percentage testing positive to A/H1N1 flu at designated flu clinics; flu surveillance at designated flu clinics; influenza-like illness surveillance among sentinel private doctors.
From Sept. 28 the center will no longer release the number of newly confirmed cases daily. However, the daily announcements of fatal or critical cases, and school outbreaks, will remain.
Laboratory testing strategies will also be adjusted to cope with the latest development. Laboratory tests will only be conducted on flu patients who are pregnant; aged below one year; healthcare staff; patients living in institutions without flu outbreaks; patients with a persistent fever or whose condition deteriorates two days after treatment.
(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2009)