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Record high number of flu cases in Sweden

Published: 26 Feb 2012 11:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2012 11:24 GMT+01:00

The number of flu cases reported in Sweden last week was at an all-time high, with some 100,000 simultaneous sufferers, according to estimates from the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet).

As flu season spreads across Sweden, the number of cases is on a steady rise.

Last week 416 lab-verified cases were reported, and 405 of these were seasonal flu A.

The figure had more than doubled from the week before, and was the highest number in one week since the institute began keeping tabs in 1993.

However, the verified cases are no more than a drop in the ocean compared to the real figure. Most people don't seek medical attention, choosing instead to simply remain at home.

"We usually calculate that when seasonal flu spreads, between five and fifteen percent of the population fall ill. I'm pretty convinced that during last week, around 100,000 people were more or less ill with flu," state epidemiologist Annika Linde, from the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control, told news agency TT.

It's still impossible to say whether the peak has been reached for this year's bout of influenza.

"But since it's this much, we ought to be nearing the peak," said Linde.

This year, the wave of seasonal flu came later than usual, and didn't really kick off until the end of January.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:52 February 26, 2012 by johan rebel
Gosh, must be time for the annual panic again! Let's vaccinate the entire population! Waste billions of taxpayers' money! What are you waiting for? All hysterical security blanket huggers should line up for hours outside their vårdcentraler! No better way to waste time or to allay your irrational fears!
14:48 February 26, 2012 by jonathanjames61
Most people don't seek medical attention, choosing instead to simply remain at home.,Why wont we stay at home,when you seek for medical help,The so called alvadon mafia company wont let the nurse and doctors gives you proper medical attention,go home and take alvadon and drink some water,that what they tell you.I wonder if they are not being paid to spread the deceases so that they can make more money from the population,this is a wicked world of greedy merchants.
17:22 February 26, 2012 by Grokh
Is there a special reason for sweden to have people sick quite often and with strong symptoms ?

I mean i lived in portugal and because of the humidity i had sinuse, which meant i was sneezing my whole life.

then i came to sweden and sinuse stopped but the one time i got sick in sweden i was completely knocked out as if i had gotten some deadly virus. i couldnt even stand up...

And here people are sick quite often, enough to have teachers or co workers telling them to not come to work if they are sick. as if they had some kind of disease that would result in a pandemic or something.

why is it that swedes get such strong flus ?
18:50 February 26, 2012 by RobinHood
@johan rebel

In 1918 they had an "irrational" annual panic too. Then 100 million people died of influenza over the next two years, and they realised they hadn't panicked enough.

I'm glad we have you around to tell us what's an irrational fear, and what's going to kill 100 million people. But next time, please would you tell us before, not after.
21:43 February 26, 2012 by Beavis
All due to the nonsensical "You dont get paid the first 2 daya our sick rule" Where sick people come to work and spread the disease. When will Sweden wake up and realise the reason they have the highst sickness rates in the world (yes the whole planet!) is that the logical solution is to pay people the first 2 days but any more days after that tthey need a note from a doctor. Allow this up to 3 times per year and you will cut down the number of sickness days and the amount of infected people by 50% ..then there is dagis- child is dropped to dagis sick- the dagis should refuse to take the child (not the same as pointlessly calling the parent out for a snoty nose in the middle of the day!) Follow these 2 things cut down flu by 50% easy win
01:00 February 27, 2012 by phil23456
When has the Swedish government ever done anything sensible, I'm surprised the government hasn't come up with some crazy idea like doubling refugees welfare benefits to cut flu rates.
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