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CDC urges public to maintain high alert against flu virus

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The public should maintain high alert against the influenza virus after the massive flow of travelers during and in the wake of the long Chinese New Year holidays, according to public health officials.

Officials at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), under the Department of Health, said yesterday that the flu epidemic that broke out before the Chinese New Year, and which peaked last Tuesday, is still not over yet.

The emergency units at major hospitals were thronged with people having bouts with the flu during the holidays.

The situation could turn worse as people traveling north and south return to work in high volumes.

CDC Deputy Director General Chou Jih-haw said extensive flu outbreaks usually take place before and after the Lunar New Year holidays in the Taiwan area. There is no exception this year.

He advised people to stay away from crowded places unless necessary, adding it would be best to put on masks when going outdoors.

Getting adequate sleep and frequently washing hands will also be effective to ward off viruses, he said.

When having the fever-like symptoms, sore muscles or feeling fatigue, people should quickly seek medical attention and ask for sick leave for a quick and full recovery while avoiding spreading the virus to others, he said.

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