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Western Sweden worse hit by narcolepsy: study

Western Sweden worse hit by narcolepsy: study

Published: 16 Sep 2011 09:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2011 09:16 GMT+02:00

The risk of developing the sleeping disorder narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix is 20 times as high for kids living in counties Halland and Västra Götaland, in western Sweden, according to a ongoing study.

”We still don't know what the reasons behind this are, but there could be several explanations, ” said neurologist Tove Hallböök, one of the scientists behind the study, to local paper Göreborgsposten (GP).

For the whole of Sweden, children who were inoculated with the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix are seven times as likely to develop narcolepsy than those who didn't get the shot.

One theory into why western Sweden seems to be hit worse is that there simply are more cases discovered in the region than other places in Sweden.

Scientists are hopeful that the gathered research on the cases in the area will help come up with an explanation.

”It is a terrible disease and many of the children are feeling very bad,” Hallböök told GP.

Many of those that have contracted the disease have had to wait a long while to receive a diagnosis as doctors still know relatively little about the condition.

So far 100 children have reported adverse effects of the drug to claim recompense from the pharmaceutical insurance (Läkemedelsförsäkringen), which has announced a ceiling of 150 million kronor ($22.6 million) for payouts.

How much each individual sufferer will receive is so far not settled.

”We have sought legal representation to support our cause in this process and to help us understand the legal battles that might follow,” said Tomas Norbert, chairman of the Swedish Narcolepsy association, to GP.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:19 September 16, 2011 by Mib
As a parent and with the considered advice from my Wife who is a Doctor, we allowed or Daughter to have the jab. It was a difficult decision as it went against my instincts...but at the time 2 young children had died and based on the cases my Wife had seen, it seemed the sensible option. Thankfully, she has not got narcolepsy.

I decided not to have the jab as the Drugs company had rushed out the jab too quickly in my opinion and when you think it can take several years for thorough testing etc, it seemed a bit crazy....but I understood the urgency as at the time it seemed that the virus would kill thousands of people and more if it got out of hand. Thankfully, that never happened.

The next time this happens, I will err on the side of caution as far as my Daughter is concerned, but as always you try to make the best decision you can with the information you have.
11:29 September 16, 2011 by Nevermindwho
Ahem! Is the local really managed by native English speakers? I'm wondering if the title isn't meant to read "worst hit" instead of "worse hit."
12:05 September 16, 2011 by Addendum
Western Sweden worse hit (in comparison to eastern Sweden).

Western Sweden worst hit (within all of Sweden).

Eller? Depends on what is implied?
13:47 September 16, 2011 by Bigd
I also ahd this vaccine and am quite shocked.....to.......

20:57 September 16, 2011 by Mark S.
The correct comparison to make is how many children had adverse effects from the vaccine vs how many would have died without the vaccination program.

Of course, if a vaccine program is successful, it is hard to know how many would have died, but we know that before vaccines were invented, you could assume that every family would have one or more children die from an infectious disease.
21:07 September 16, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
"One theory into why western Sweden seems to be hit worse is that there simply are more cases discovered in the region than other places in Sweden."

I just posted this and I do not feel any comment is worthy of the pure science and intelligence of this most profound statement.

It is perfect!
22:43 September 16, 2011 by Nevermindwho
@Addendum: Try googling "worse hit" and you'll get a question/suggestion "did you mean WORST hit?" That's because one is a comparative and one is a quality.

"Worse" is a comparative degree of an adjective. Comparative adjectives are used to highlight the differences of two objects. For example, "pencils are worse than ball pens."

"Worst" is a superlative degree that is used for the highest degree of quality. It is used as stand-alone statement. For example, "pencils the the worst."

In the case of this article, usage should either be "Western Sweden was hit by flu worse than the Eastern Sweden," or "Western Sweden worst hit by flu."

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