Flu thought to be the cause of death for many elderly people

old handOld hand. Photo:Pixabay

In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in mortality among people over 65 years of age. One likely reason is that this year’s flu affects the elderly particularly hard.

In a normal flu season, around 900 people in Norway die of the illness. This year’s figures are not yet clear, but the increase in deaths among elderly people has been linked to influenza, reported VG newspaper.

‘We have seen more deaths this winter than last, which we assume is largely due to this year’s flu outbreak’, said Departmental Director, Siri Helene Hauge, of the Folkehelseinstituttets (NIPH) department for influenza.

From week 50 of last year, to the first week of this year, more died than expected, and last week, mortality increased markedly, and the increase is primarily to those over 65 years old dying, according to the weekly statistics from the department.

‘There is always higher mortality in winter than in summer, and the numbers correspond with the flu season. Therefore, we assume that a significant proportion of the mortality is associated with influenza’, said Hauge. This year’s virus (H3N2) affects elderly people particularly hard.

‘It is mainly due to a lower level of protection in this age group, but characteristics of the virus may also be a part of the explanation. In addition, the flu vaccine is less effective in the elderly’, said Hauge.



Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today