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(added on 2013/02/19)

What next for Hong Kong? 緊接下來的是什麼?

©2013 SpatioEpi.com
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group

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流行性感冒是由流感病毒引致,但流感病毒並非單一微生物,而是一系列不同型號病毒。當流感病毒經歷變種,便有可能衍生新品種。現時流行於全球的三種主要流感病毒包括:甲型H3N2、甲型H1N1(前稱「人類豬型流感病毒」)及乙型。這些流感病毒的交替流行形成流感季節。美國今季的流感季節提早來臨,有些地方如紐約於2013年一月已發出公共衛生緊急狀況警報,而在最近流感高峰期流行的主要病毒是H3N2。圖中顯示三種流感病毒從2012年最後兩個星期至2013年首兩個星期的確診個案數目分佈。於美國及加拿大當地主導的仍然是H3N2,而其他地方則流行不同比例的甲型H1N1、H3N2及乙型流感病毒。地圖資料源自世界衛生組織流感網絡(http://apps.who.int/globalatlas/dataQuery/default.asp)。今年香港的流感季節在2013年一月,農曆新年前開始。其實早於2012年十二月,網上流感監測站EcSS (www.EcSS.hk)的監測結果已顯示呼吸道徵狀廣泛流行。

Influenza is caused by the influenza virus. The influenza virus is not a single virus but rather the name for a range of virus subtypes. Subtypes may undergo mutations and could take on new forms. Currently the 3 main subtypes in circulation around the world are Influenza A H3N2, H1N1 (previously "swine flu") and Influenza B. These viruses take turn to cause influenza seasons. In the United States the influenza season has started early this season, with some places like the New York State declaring public health emergency in January 2013. H3N2 is the main cause of infections in the current season, which seems to have peaked recently. The maps show the distribution of the three viruses between the last 2 weeks of December 2012 and the first two weeks of January 2013, expressed as the number of positive cases for the specific virus in processed specimens. The higher rates of H3N2 remain localized to US and Canada. Elsewhere a mixed pattern involving H1N1, H3N2 and B in varying proportion is seen. Data for the map were obtained from World Health Organization's FluNet (http://apps.who.int/globalatlas/dataQuery/default.asp). In Hong Kong, the influenza season has started in January 2013 before the Chinese New Year. Interestingly respiratory symptoms have become more common since December 2012, as revealed in the community surveillance project EcSS (www.EcSS.hk).