Two young people die from influenza in Norway

Vaccination against influenzaVaccination against influenza.Photo: Ole Gunnar Onsøien / NTB scanpix

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Two high school students have recently died from influenza in Norway. None of them were infected with the coronavirus that has not been detected in Norway yet.

A student at Kongerød secondary school in Skien died Thursday at Rikshospitalet due to complications from regular flu, the municipality said in a press release.

Municipal superintendent Vegard Høgli in Skien said young people rarely die from the flu.

“But sometimes it happens in regular flu seasons. There is no reason to behave differently than the general advice we give,” he said  to VG and emphasizes that care must be taken with hand hygiene.

On February 7, a boy in the 9th grade died at a junior school in Sarpsborg. An email the principal sent to the students’ parents stated that the youth suddenly became seriously ill and died shortly after in a hospital in Oslo.

Infection control specialist and municipal doctor Karianne J. Bergman in Sarpsborg confirmed that the boy had the flu, in addition to a serious bacterial infection.

“In this case, no infection control measures are needed,” she said.

Siri Helene Hauge, a consultant for infection control and vaccine at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, rejected the notion that  this year’s influenza virus is particularly dangerous or severe.

However, she observed that  young people more often get sick with the flu because they do not have the same immunity as adults. Even though many are infected, few under the age of 18 die after being infected.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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