A student at an intermediate school in Oslo died this summer after having been sick with tuberculosis, Norway’s public health institute reported this week. The death is only the fourth of its kind in the country in 40 years.
“It’s extremely unusual that children or youth under the age of 20 die of tuberculosis, or from another disease tied to tuberculosis,” Trude Arnesen of the public health institute (Folkehelseinstituttet) told news bureau NTB this week. “We have only registered three such cases since 1972.”
The institute registers around 350 to 400 cases of tuberculosis in Norway every year. Around 85 percent of those ill were born outside Norway. The teenage boy who died was from a Somalian family.
“The danger of infection is low and medicines are good,” Arnesen said. “Those who get tuberculosis in Norway today can expect to recover. This particular case is an exception. It won’t lead to any changes in our recommendations regarding tuberculosis in Norway, but it shows how important it is to maintain the control systems we have.”