Winter's finally here - seasonal health advice from Island Health's Dr James Oliver

Winter has descended on Hong Kong with a vengeance with a drop in temperatures and a strong monsoon signal in force today.

The temperature at noon today according to the Hong Kong Observatory was 15C, with a minimum of 11C today and tomorrow.

The Observatory also issued a monsoon warning of strong winds, with the maximum sustained winds recorded at Cheung Chau at 11.30am of 52 kilometres an hour with maximum gusts of 70 kilometres an hour.

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As the colder weather descended, arounddb.com talked to Dr James Oliver, a partner in Discovery Bay's Island Health clinic, about precautions during winter as we head into flu season.

Dr Oliver said it was advisable to have a flu shot in Hong Kong, even if it was not something expats might not have done at home.

"I think it's a good idea as we live quite close together compared to Australia or England, for example," he said. "We have a high density of population."

"Then we have children (for example) playing in playrooms in rec clubs and they are quite a good source of spreading it around."

Dr Oliver said face masks could be a useful tool to stop the transmission of flu germs.

"If you have it (flu) and wear a mask it does reduce the spread of it," he said. "But they have to be changed fairly frequently and they have to be of reasonable quality."

He also supported advice from health authorities to be mindful of children and seniors when the cold weather hits.

While he said flu season did not usually peak until Chinese New Year, he said older people with conditions such as heart disease, asthma and bad chests should consider flu shots, as should young children.

And employers should also consider offering flu shots to their employees to reduce lost time at work.

He said flu shots usually take about 6-7 days to be fully effective.

Picture: pixabay.com 

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