It is important to look up, or rather down, when you move in nature and in high humidity grass during the summer. This is where ticks thrive best. According to statistics from the Swedish Public Health Agency, the number of cases of TBE, the viral disease spread by ticks, has doubled compared to last year.
– By 2020, we had 31 cases reported through the end of June, and this year the number is 62, says Public Health Agency investigative epidemiologist Marika Hjerkvist.
The number of ticks is increasing
It is difficult to answer what lies behind the doubling. The biggest aspect is the weather, says Lars Lundqvist, affiliated with Lund University.
– Tick activity is highly dependent on the weather, ticks need heat and moisture. The activity of people also depends on the weather, as people go out and move around nature. I think you’ve noticed a clear trend for this, says Lars Lundqvist and adds:
In general, the number of ticks is increasing, there is no doubt about that because there are more mammals, such as deer and wild boars, in the wild.
Fewer people are being vaccinated
In May, Apoteket and Doktor24 reported that the number of TBE vaccines had fallen by about 40 percent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
People are usually vaccinated in May and July. This year, a large number of people were vaccinated against COVID-19 during the same period. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, a week should pass between the TBE injection and the covid-19 vaccine.