Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong children have started their Chinese New Year holidays early, after the government closed schools to prevent the spread of flu.
All kindergartens, child care centres, primary schools and special schools will start their holidays from February 8. The holiday was due to begin next week.
Schools should clean their premises thoroughly to ensure environmental hygiene, urged the Government of Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB).
More than 120 people have reportedly died from flu in Hong Kong this winter.
People travelling from Hong Kong to the UK could bring the flu virus with them, a pharmacist has warned.
“Parents should take measures to prevent influenza, and pay attention to the health condition of their children,” said the EDB. “Students should avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation. They should build up good body immunity by having a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest.”
Hong Kong flu is caused by the influenza B strain, according to pharmacist and Jakemans expert, Marvin Munzu.
The strain tends to affect more children than adults, he added.
“If people are travelling from Hong Kong, there are more chances for the strain of flu to come to the UK,” Munzu told Express.co.uk.
“However, if it does come, it is a lot less severe than the Aussie flu, so people should try not to worry.
“Hong Kong flu is a similar to French and Aussie flu, however these are type A and Hong Kong Flu is type B.
“Hong Kong had a similar strain of flu in 1968, however today people seem to be able to deal with flu better. This may be because we are becoming more immune to types of flu and there are more vaccines available.”
Hong Kong flu symptoms include headaches, fevers, muscle aches, sore throats, coughs, runny noses and sneezing, said Munzu.
But, the flu strain could lead to more severe symptoms, he warned.
“If a sufferer experiences any red flag signs, they should go to hospital straight away.
“These include coughing up blood, difficulty breathing and chest pain,” he said.
Flu usually lasts no more than two or three days. If symptoms are still showing after seven days, and isn’t showing any signs of getting better, you should see a doctor for medical advice, said Munzu.
The flu jab could help to prevent infection from the influenza virus.
Keeping hydrated, washing your hands regularly and keeping warm should help to keep illness at bay, he added.