Deadly flu outbreak: Schools in Hong Kong ordered to shut down

Singapore school
Representational image for school students Reuters

Since January 2018, more than 100 people have been killed due to the flu outbreak, and in the midst of this chaos, the Hong Kong Education Bureau has ordered to shut down all schools and kindergartens in the country to minimize the spread of influenza. The authority has also asked all the schools to clean and disinfect the premises thoroughly to combat the widespread outbreak of the disease.

It was during the outbreak of swine flu in 2009 that schools were closed in this manner in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection said that schools are particularly vulnerable to spread influenza as children are too young to take adequate personal care. School children are more prone to increased person-person contact, and it may elevate the chances of getting infected from one person to another.

Last month, the spokesperson for Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection requested everyone to get vaccinated as early as possible. The government health authority also revealed that it will take about two weeks to get the antibodies developed in the body of the individual.

The spokesperson urged people with influenza symptoms to seek immediate medical care to prevent potential complications.

Even though influenza has claimed more than 100 lives in Hong Kong, experts believe that the outbreak may not have reached its peak. As per health experts, the outbreak may collide with a type A flu outbreak, which will finally lead to a dangerous phenomenon known as 'double peaks.'

This is not the first time that a communicable disease is destabilizing the normal life of people in Hong Kong. In 2003, during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), more than 300 people in Hong Kong lost their lives, while thousands were hospitalized. In 1997, six people were killed in Hong Kong as bird flu broke out in all nooks of the globe.