Flu virus outbreak ‘nothing unusual this year’, health experts say / News / The Foreigner

Flu virus outbreak ‘nothing unusual this year’, health experts say. 2013’s current bout of influenza is no worse than normally expected for this time of year, according to Norway’s Institute of Public Health (NIPH). “It’s just this year’s epidemic,” division of infectious diseases director at the Institute, Hanne Nøkleby, tells The Foreigner, “it’s nothing unusual.” It is expected that the number of influenza cases will increase in the next one to two weeks before decreasing again following this peak at around the eighth week of the flu season, according to her.

norwayswineflu, h1n1norway, norwayflu



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Flu virus outbreak ‘nothing unusual this year’, health experts say

Published on Friday, 4th January, 2013 at 13:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

2013’s current bout of influenza is no worse than normally expected for this time of year, according to Norway’s Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

A syringe
A syringe
Photo: Wikimedia Commons


“It’s just this year’s epidemic,” division of infectious diseases director at the Institute, Hanne Nøkleby, tells The Foreigner, “it’s nothing unusual.”

It is expected that the number of influenza cases will increase in the next one to two weeks before decreasing again following this peak at around the eighth week of the flu season, according to her.

At the same time, the NIPH declares they are monitoring developments closely, constituting that emerging levels – which involve the three H1N1, B, and A (H3N2) types – are currently above the epidemic threshold.

They underline that there is no pandemic, though, as this requires a new strain of the virus against which people have no immunity.

 “We expect that infection caused by A (H1N1) virus (swine influenza) could constitute a larger proportion of this winter’s epidemic than in the last two winters, but that pre-existing immunity in the population will limit the epidemic's spread,” says Karin Rønning, Director of the Department of Infectious Disease Surveillance, in a statement.

“The number of people who become ill varies from year to year. The size of the epidemic is impossible to predict,” she adds.

NIPH experts also say that in keeping with any influenza outbreak, “some people will be admitted to hospital, including intensive care, and that some deaths will occur. This is not specifically caused by the A (H1N1) virus, but can happen as a result of any influenza infection.”

Meanwhile, other medical experts advocate people wash hands thoroughly as a better preventative measure the vaccination against infection.

It is also reported that many employees at Norwegian businesses choose to go to work when ill instead of staying at home.

“Washing hands is important as one way a virus generally infects others by them touching a door handle, for example,” says the NIPH’s Hanne Nøkleby to The Foreigner.

“People should really stay at home when ill, both for their and others’ sake. Humans are one of the best virus spreaders at the beginning of being infected with the flu.”

For further information, read the Institute of Public Health’s article in English about this year’s flu here.



Published on Friday, 4th January, 2013 at 13:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: norwayswineflu, h1n1norway, norwayflu.





  
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