China's Flu Cases Double in December With Milder Strain Most Prevalent, Expert Says
Tang Shihua
/SOURCE : Yicai
China's Flu Cases Double in December With Milder Strain Most Prevalent, Expert Says

(Yicai Global) Jan. 19 -- Cases of the flu in China doubled in December compared to last year, through the virus's prevalent form was the B strain, which rarely results in severe or fatal cases, media outlet Science and Technology Daily cited well-known Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan as saying.

"Influenza-like cases detected in hospitals in both northern and southern China showed that the number of flu cases nearly doubled in the past month compared to the same period last year, mainly resulting from B strains," said Zhong.

"Flu cases are expected to fall and die down by the end of this month. Vaccination remains the best way to prevent it," he added.

"The current vaccine used in China is trivalent influenza vaccine which does not contain B antigens. Although it has little effect on this flu, it is effective in preventing other types," Zhong said, adding that domestic research and development institutions are stepping up development of a quadrivalent flu vaccine for B antigens which may enter the market in the second half of the year.

He highlighted a combined strain of bird and human flu as the most serious influenza virus and called on the public to remain vigilant to prevent its spread, which is most likely to happen between January and March.

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Keywords: Epidemic Disease , Influenza Virus