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Norway raises concern on mutated swine flu.

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Topic: Norway raises concern on mutated swine flu.
Posted By: waterboy
Subject: Norway raises concern on mutated swine flu.
Date Posted: November 20 2009 at 9:02am
OuchNorwegian scientists raise concerns about mutated form of swine flu

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 20, 2009 11:36 AM

Scientists in Norway have identified a mutated form of the swine flu virus that is raising concern because it was found in two patients who died of the flu and a third who was severely ill with the disease, officials announced Friday.

In a statement, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said the mutation "could possibly make the virus more prone to infect deeper in the airways and thus cause more severe disease," such as pneumonia.

Scientists have analyzed about 70 viruses from confirmed Norwegian swine flu cases and found the mutation in only those three patients, Geir Stene-Larsen, the institute's director general, said in the statement.

"Based on what we know so far, it seems that the mutated virus does not circulate in the population, but might be a result of spontaneous changes which have occurred in these three patients," the statement said.

The institute has been analyzing H1N1 virus from "a number of patients as part of the surveillance of the pandemic flu virus," and has detected several mutations, the statement said. While the existence of mutations is normal, and most "will probably have little or no importance . . . one mutation has caught special interest."

The two patients who had the mutation and died were the first swine flu fatalities in Norway. The third patient found to have the mutated form of the virus also became severely ill.

The institute said there was no indication that the mutation would hinder the ability of the vaccine to protect people from becoming infected or impair the effectiveness of antiviral drugs in treating people who became infected.

Officials from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could not immediately be reached for comment.

Several flu experts said that the mutation should not cause widespread alarm. "Influenza is a mutable virus, and changes are to be expected," said Arnold S. Monto of the University of Michigan in an e-mail. "This is typical early in the spread of a pandemic virus."

Scientists around the world have been tracking the virus carefully for any signs that it had mutated into a more dangerous form. While a variety of mutations have been detected, most have not appeared to have affected the virus in any way. There have been some mutations that make the virus more resistant to antiviral drugs, experts said, but -- like the mutation that may cause more severe illness -- those, too, seem self-contained.

"It is, at the moment, reassuring that this appears not to be spreading," said William Schaffner, of Vanderbilt University. He said mutations that make episodes of swine flu more severe are most dangerous only if they are "easily transmissible." "That's a different characteristic," Schaffner said. "And apparently that does not appear to have happened to this virus. It does not seem to be spreading in the general population."

Detection of the mutation should be reassuring, Schaffner said, because it illustrates the intensity of the global effort to monitor the virus. "The virologists are keeping an eye on H1N1 and this is evidence of that," Schaffner said. "We should be pleased the virologists are doing such a good job of tracking this flu virus."

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Posted By: Mary008
Date Posted: November 20 2009 at 9:11am

From Norway...

"...But it turns out at grave only a few, at most, this will only cause a mild disease..."

"...After a record-breaking 45 weeks, the infection is now on the way down in South and

Central Norway. They estimate that the infection has peaked in this country..."
................ -

Posted By: mjm1
Date Posted: November 20 2009 at 9:45am
Seems to be hitting the US news fast - another rehash - -

Posted By: waterboy
Date Posted: November 20 2009 at 12:03pm
Calendar Event: Pneumonia like illness spreads-Norway
    Posted: 18 November 2009 at 12:28pm
Needing more confirmation but main stream - not only is the Swine Flu increasing - but also the tag along undefined respiratory bug which may be the same as the in the Ukraine. More confirmation needed. This is a significant event. This can be explained away as it is common for these disease to occur together- but this may be one of the first incidence of this outside Ukraine and this is translated from Norwegian -

630,000 Norwegians flu infected

We estimate that just under 630,000 Norwegians are now infected and that nearly half a million were infected just last week.

you must surf to page to read this in English.. I am going to  translate (capturing parts of google trans) .. to see if I can get the text - on here posted in case the link dies.

 Wednesday evening FHI reported that the number of infected people is 900,000, and the number of infected last week 500,000.  This was due to a miscalculation by the Department.
 The entire 13 per cent of Norway's population is now infected with the swine flu. The estimates of Public Health (FHI) for the latest updated situation report that was published late Wednesday night.

 Both the incidence of influenza-like illness and the number of confirmed flu cases has increased sharply throughout the country in recent weeks. But last week was a steep upward curve.
 According to the NIPH was all as many as 300,000 Norwegians infected with swine flu only last week.

 The article continues below the video window.

We estimate that just under 630,000 Norwegians are now infected and that nearly half a million were infected just last week.  There are a large number and it tells us that we are in the middle of a new and powerful wave of infection which is significantly stronger than the one we had this summer, "said Hans Blystad, superintendent at the NIPH.

He will not mean anything if, or when, we can expect to reach a temporary peak of infection, but said a leveling off of the number of new infected first is probably when even more is vaccinated.

Infection estimates of the NIPH is based on reported cases in the last week from 201 physician offices spread across the country, including laboratory tests and how many were diagnosed with "influenza-like illness".

 14 percent of those who went to the doctor last week had this diagnosis.Of the tests that were done in more detail in the laboratory showed all samples swine influenza virus.

Svineinfluensavirset has now spread epidemic in the whole country, and is most extensive in the Southeast and West Coast.

 So far, 772 Norwegians hospitalized in connection with the swine flu pandemic.94 received intensive treatment, and 16 are dead. . 13 of them died in hospital.Yesterday was the 93 people hospitalized, and 20 in intensive care.

comment: this is a 2% CFR of those hospitalized

 Deputy Health Director Bjorn Guldvog believe that the number of infected in Norway will increase.

We believe we are on a rising wave in the number of infected people.But soon, almost all the risk groups vaccinated, so we hope for a avflating in the number of critically ill and died, "said Guldvog.

see link for full translation is link remains stable


Posted By: Mary008
Date Posted: November 20 2009 at 3:12pm
630,000 Norwegians flu infected
16 are dead.
low death rate still holding, good news.

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