More TBE cases expected in Sweden this winter

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More TBE cases expected in Sweden this winter
Tick-borne diseases are endemic in Austria, which is why federal states are encouraging vaccination. Photo by Erik Karits / Unsplash

The currently mild weather is favourable for ticks. As a result, more cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) are expected this winter, the Swedish Public Health Agency (FHM) warns.


"If it (note: the weather) continues to be this mild, we can count on more TBE cases coming in," Marika Hjertqvist, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency, says.

In the last five years, the FHM has seen a substantial increase in TBE cases – a trend that looks set to continue.


Number of cases on the rise

"We have looked at how climate change may affect infectious diseases in the future, and we have seen that TBE has already increased very much," Hjertqvist says, adding that other factors can also explain the increase.

There are recommendations in place on TBE vaccination for people who live or often stay in areas with a high risk of infection.

"Ticks crawl around on your body before they bite, and in some cases, you can catch them before they bite you," Hjertqvist says.

The regions that usually have the highest number of TBE cases are Sörmland and Uppsala, according to the FHM.


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