The number of influenza cases is still at a very low level, but increasing. The Institute of Public Health therefore believes that an outbreak is approaching at the turn of the year.
Last week (week 50), only 0.6 per cent of physician consultations in the primary health service were about influenza-like illness, reports the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. This is up from 0.5 per cent the week before.
A total of 36 patients are hospitalized with influenza, of which 29 with influenza A and seven with influenza B.
The proportion of positive samples has been somewhat higher in southern Norway in the last five weeks, related to locally higher prevalence of influenza A (H3) in Aust-Agder. In Trøndelag, there has also been an increased proportion of positive flu-samples in the past two weeks.
Both Aust-Agder and Oslo have crossed the threshold for outbreaks, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health expects the outbreak in Norway to start in earnest around Christmas and New Year. The frequency of outbreaks in Oslo has gone from very low to low.
The preliminary forecasts indicate that it is the youngest who will be particularly susceptible to both Type A and B influenza, while slightly older children are most exposed to Type B, and older people to Type A.
The National Institute of Public Health encourages people in the vulnerable target groups (pregnant, children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems) to vaccinate as soon as possible in order to obtain protection.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today