Hong Kong flu closes primary schools

March 14, 2008 at 10:50 PM
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HONG KONG, March 14 (UPI) -- Chinese officials closed primary schools and day-care centers in Hong Kong as the city struggled with an outbreak of common influenza.

More than 800 cases of flu were reported in Hong Kong over the past week, Time magazine reported Friday. Xinhua, the official Chinese news service, said the Center for Health Protection of the Department of Health of Hong Kong reported outbreaks involving 305 people at 49 schools and one correctional institution.

A advisory panel appointed to investigate the outbreak said it found no evidence of H5N1 in any of the cases. Two children died of complicating factors after contracting a common flu strain and another child's death is still under investigation.

"I think this year we probably have a little bit more seasonal flu, perhaps more widespread," Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a Hong Kong University professor who heads the panel, told Time. "But it's not more virulent."

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