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Western Sweden worse hit by narcolepsy: study

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Western Sweden worse hit by narcolepsy: study
09:16 CEST+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.

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