Norway’s FHI: The flu virus has mutated

FHIPhoto: Jil Yngland / NTB

The influenza virus H3N2’s surface proteins have changed. That means that there is a greater risk of serious illness in Norway, the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) warned on Saturday.

The FHI has been monitoring the flu in Norway since week 40, and it publishes weekly reports.

In several reports, the FHI has mentioned a virus similar to the Bangladesh one that is somewhat different from viruses we have had in Norway before, the newspaper Dagbladet writes.

“There are changes in the surface proteins, which means that the accumulated protection we have from previous H3N2 flu infections will not be optimal. This means that more people may become ill, and some of them may get a serious illness,” Kjersti Rydland, head of the flu vaccination program at the FHI, told the newspaper.

Most of the flu viruses that have been detected in Europe this autumn appear to be this version of the virus, the weekly report states. The flu vaccine should continue to be effective against serious illness.

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

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