The number of influenza cases more than doubled last week (week 49) compared to the previous week, according to the Swedish Public Health Agency’s report. The level has now exceeded the epidemic threshold value.
Last week, the number of confirmed cases reached 1,761.
– In terms of number, it is a significant increase, more than double the cases. But sampling also increased significantly. So it also affects, says Anasara Karnahan, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Authority.
The number of cases is usually higher, but now during a pandemic when more cases of influenza are detected when the health service tests suspected COVID-19 to a much greater extent.
School children at the top
The spread of influenza has increased rapidly and is at the beginning of the curve.
– It is common to start before Christmas and in a normal year it can be equal during the Christmas holidays when children do not go to school and meet in smaller contexts. You can expect a peak in February and March. But it will be affected by the various measures taken against COVID-19, says Anasara Karnahan.
The highest number of cases per 100,000 residents is in Sveland, especially the regions of Uppsala, Stockholm and Sörmland. But even here, the numbers can be affected by the fact that different regions sampled differently.
Difficult to get care
The most affected age group is children from 5 to 14 years old – primary school students.
A total of 17 people in the country have been cared for in an influenza intensive care unit.
– There we see it has started. Carnahan says there is a risk that the situation will be difficult as the flu and the coronavirus spread further.
People at risk are advised to get vaccinated against influenza. Unlike covid-19, the purpose of the vaccine is to protect only people at risk of serious disease, not to prevent the spread of infection.
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