Mutated British coronavirus variant detected in Norway

CoronavirusPhoto: Viktor Forgacs / Unsplash

Two travelers from the UK who arrived in Norway in December have been diagnosed with the British coronavirus variant. Thus, the variant has been confirmed in Norway for the first time.

The information was confirmed by the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) in a press release on Sunday afternoon. 

It is not known where the infected are located.

“The infection detection teams in the municipalities will now follow up in accordance with current routines for people who are diagnosed with the English virus variant, with extra testing and closer follow-ups of close contacts to reduce the risk of possible further spread,” department director Line Vold at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) noted in the press release.

Virus variant

The British coronavirus mutation is believed to be more contagious but does not appear to present a greater risk of serious illness.

“There is reason to be cautious, but at the same time, it is still uncertain how big a role the variant plays in the spread of infection,” Vold said.

So far, the new variant may have contributed to faster infection growth only in some parts of the UK.

The virus has been present in Denmark for several weeks without changing the infection situation, according to the FHI.

Common infection control measures apply

“A few cases of this variant have been detected in a dozen European countries, but there is reason to believe that the variant can also be found in countries where the genome of the virus is not examined, and therefore no mutations can be detected. 

“When more countries start with such examinations, we will gain better insight into the presence of this variant,” Vold explained.

The usual infection control measures such as washing hands, keeping your distance, and staying home when you are ill still apply with the new mutation, Vold warned.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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