Indian corona variant outbreak detected in quarantine hotel in Viken

Line VoldPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB

In April and early May, the Indian virus variant was detected among employees at a quarantine hotel in Viken. 

According to the National Institute of Public Health (FHI), the virus variant spread to other places in Viken and Oslo.

So far, 18 viruses from this cluster have been completely sequenced, and almost identical viruses have been detected. There are several known cases in the cluster, so the actual number of cases is probably over fifty, the FHI wrote in a risk assessment.

“Since there has been infection in workplaces and schools, there may be more cases,” the FHI added.

A total of three outbreaks of the Indian variant have been registered in Norway.

Medium-high risk of spread 

There is a medium risk that the Indian virus variant will continue to spread in Norway, the FHI estimates. 

“Even though we have strict measures at the border, it is not a guarantee of no infection in the country, and this may be the variant we will see the most in Norway in the future,” department director Line Vold at the FHI noted.

“We expect that the epidemic can still be kept under control with effective implementation of current measures and continued rapid vaccination of as many people as possible,” she said.

Dominant in England

The FHI believes that the variant is somewhat more contagious than the English one but that there is no evidence that it causes more serious illness.

The variant, first detected in India in December, is now becoming the dominant variant in England.

“There is still limited knowledge about the Indian variant, so we are following this closely in the future in order to update our knowledge base. 

“At the same time, we are closely following other new variants of the virus that are being discovered,” Vold added.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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