HUS has highlighted the dangers of the new COVID- 19 variant/Lehtikuva

News in brief

Young people could be more vulnerable to a new mutation of the COVID-19 virus, according to the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS).

Asko Järvinen, head of infectious diseases at HUS, told Ilta Sanomat that Finland has seen a surge in cases of the highly contagious new variant, which was first detected in the UK. 

While research on how this strain affects different age groups is still ongoing, reports from Iraq indicate that it is infecting age groups that the original virus did not, including children.   

In Finland, people below the age of 30 account for the highest number of cases. The new mutation, which is thought to be deadlier than the original virus variants, has also resulted in 30–40 per cent more hospital stays. 

In the past few weeks, the HUS hospital district has registered more young coronavirus patients in hospital wards and intensive care units than ever before. 

Järvinen suggests that while the UK variant might cause more severe symptoms, the risk of death for young people remains low compared to those in high-risk groups and the elderly. 

The strain has spread at an alarming rate, and Järvinen advocates more stringent restrictions to contain it. Finland reported 620 new COVID- 19 infections on Sunday.


Tahira Sequeira

Helsinki Times