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HK to Take Measures to Prevent Possible Spread of Flu

Hong Kong's health department is planning a series of measures to prevent the possible spread of flu in the city.

Thomas Tsang, consultant of the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), said at a radio program on Friday that the government is to launch its annual Influenza Vaccination Program from Nov. 7 to Dec. 31 this year, covering a total of 250,000 people.

He said the program is to provide free influenza vaccinations to some of the target groups including elderly people living in residential care homes, long-stay residents of institutions for the disabled, people aged 65 or above with chronic illness that has been treated in public clinics, as well health care workers of the DH.

Tsang said the number of people to receive vaccination will reach 50,000, more than that of last year and next January to March is expected to be a peak time for flu.

He said the DH has also prepared an amount of anti bird flu pharmaceuticals for the city.

If there is a possible spread of bird flu in southeast Asia and western Pacific countries, he said, Hong Kong will send medical staffs to the countries to help them combat the disease.

According to a spokeswoman of the DH, on the international hand wash day on Oct. 13, the department will launch an activity to encourage Hong Kong people to wash their hands more frequently in an effort to prevent the occurrence of various kinds of diseases.

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2005)

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