According to Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the next flu season is unlikely to be very severe, as many of those at risk have already died of covid-19 disease.
Mild the flu season in 2019 may be one explanation for Sweden’s high coronary virus mortality, says Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell In an interview with Dagens Nyheter magazine.
In Sweden, more people have died of covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus in proportion to the population than in many other western industrialized countries. There were a lot of deaths, especially last spring, since then they have decreased.
World Health Organization A recent WHO report According to Sweden, there have been 579 coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants. The corresponding figure in Finland is 61. However, the number of deaths in Sweden is lower in relation to the population than in Belgium, Britain, Spain and Italy, for example.
Tegnellin According to the Commission, the high initial mortality rate in Sweden can be explained by many factors, but perhaps most of all by the very mild influenza season in Sweden in 2019. This led to many fragile and sick people covid-19 disease, Tegnell estimates, according to Dagens Nyheter.
“The new report shows that there is a strong link between low influenza mortality and high covid-19 mortality, and vice versa,” Tegnell says in Dagens Nyheter.
According to the newspaper, statistics from the European Office of Communicable Diseases show that the flu hit Norway and Finland, for example, harder than Sweden, before the coronavirus reached the Nordic countries.
In Sweden mortality from ordinary influenza was very low in the last influenza season, said the Swedish Public Health Authority Folkhälsomyndigheten report, which it released last June.
According to the report, 7,928 people in Sweden were infected with the flu in the 2019–2020 influenza period, 13,758 people in the 2018–2019 period and as many as 20,686 people in the 2017–2018 period.
On the other hand, autumn will bring a new flu season again. However, Tengell does not think the season will be particularly severe.
“Many of the people at risk of influenza mortality have already died of covid-19. This may sound cynical, but we’ve found that when there are plenty of deaths during the flu season, there are correspondingly fewer if, even if there is a strong heat wave next summer, ”Tegnell said.
Afraid according to Tegnell, the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic has not yet been seen in Sweden.
“It didn’t really happen that the virus started spreading when people started meeting each other more freely. We saw a small increase in cases in Gotland, Halland and a few other places, but nothing dramatic followed, ”Tegnell told DN.
This week Sweden announced his dismantling restrictions on visiting old people’s homes from the beginning of October.
Director General of the Social Affairs Board Olivia Wigzellin According to the decision, the reason for the decision is the reduction in the number of new infections and the fact that old people’s homes are now better equipped to fight infections. The same was emphasized by Anders Tegnell in DN.
Situation however, it is not over yet. Tegnell believes the second wave is coming – at least globally.
“Globally, infections are on the rise. Surely the situation will get worse before it gets better. It depends on what is happening in Europe as a whole. ”
Tegnell does not want to judge when Swedish society will be able to return to normal.
“I think it’s too early to judge. We may now want to observe for at least a month how the covid behaves. ”