Last year, Läkartidningen was able to report that more cases of tick-borne viral encephalitis, TBE, have been reported in 2021 than ever before. According to the GGD, the number of reported cases was 533 – double the number from the previous year.
A new record has been set this year, writes Today’s news. In Stockholm County, 5 cases of TBE were reported in May and 21 cases in June, a total of 26 cases. However, according to the newspaper, the GGD researchers note that it is still too early to say anything about whether we will see more or fewer cases compared to previous years when listing the 2023 fortress season.
While Stockholm County showed a record number of TBE cases, no case of TBE was recorded from Dalarna and the north during the same period (through June this year).
The reason for the sharp increase in TBE cases in 2021 would be related to favorable weather conditions in combination with more voles and wood mice. Even now, the GGD points out that both the weather and the number of small rodents influence the size of the tick population in different years.
As you know, TBE leads to encephalitis with high fever, severe headache and sometimes convulsions and paralysis. In up to 30 percent of those affected, prolonged (sometimes permanent) pronounced fatigue, memory impairment and similar symptoms are seen. Permanent paralysis can occur, but is rare. Death is very rare.
The GGD currently investigating whether vaccination should be recommended for certain groups against TBE. The study should be provisionally completed in 2023. If vaccination is recommended, the vaccinations are not automatically free for the individual, the GGD writes. It is up to the regions to decide whether to offer residents vaccination against TBE (and any patient costs).
However, the question is what the consequences are of a national vaccination advice. The TBE vaccine has run out in many places in Sweden while demand for the vaccine has been high, according to an article in Swedish Radio Claritext.
Doubling of TBE cases by 2021
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