Predicts Norwegian Flu Peak in February

flu H1N1Sneezing from the Flu. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB Scanpix.

Predicts Norwegian Flu Peak in February

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health expects this year’s influenza peak to come in February. Children under the age of 5 and people at work are probably the most vulnerable.

How extensive this year’s influenza outbreak becomes is not yet possible to predict, writes the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet) in a status update Thursday. During the Christmas period, the number of flu cases increased, but a peak is not expected until February.

This year’s flu is of type A (H1N1), aka Swine Flu. This strain of the virus often affects younger persons.

“The elders are, for various reasons, less susceptible to the A (H1N1) virus, but often more susceptible to the A (H3N2) strain,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health writes in a status update on Thursday.

Immune to the flu

During the last two years, influenza outbreaks have been of type A (H3N2), which has been particularly prevalent in the elderly. This strain is in circulation this year as well, albeit to a lesser extent. Studies also show that many in the population are now immune to it as a consequence.

Many Norwegians are immune to this year’s infection. Nearly half a million Norwegians are already vaccinated against – or have already been exposed to – it. More than 300,000 of these are 65 or older, which means that the coverage among the oldest is already 35 per cent, which is 1 per cent above the immunity level recorded last year.

On a sideline, an anti-vac advocate and journalist (26) in the US is recently reported dead from meningitis after an H1N1 infection.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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