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Does Norway think COVID is the same as the flu?

A new claim is floating around the internet, saying Norway classified COVID-19 as the flu, but Norway says that is not true.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health says the rumor stems from a comment made by Geir Bukholm, assistant director of the NIPH to the Norwegian media outlet VG.

In the interview he said that they needed to start viewing the virus as one of several respiratory diseases with seasonal variation.


NIPH says though that the COVID virus is not the same as a cold or flu and does need to be viewed differently. It’s simply something that needs to be watched like the rest are.

People may have gotten the wrong idea from the statement because the debate on whether COVID was similar to the flu has been a hot one, especially when former President Donald Trump said the virus was “far less lethal than the flu.”

The data does not support that: the flu infects around 1 billion people per year with 290,000-650,000 deaths. COVID has infected 233 million people in 18 months and killed 4 million.



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