Sweden’s high infection death toll might be connected to moderate influenza seasons: Chief researcher

Sweden's high virus death toll may be linked to mild flu seasons: Chief scientist

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People stroll on Stranvagen in Stockholm on September 19, 2020.


Sweden’s primary epidemiologist has actually partially blamed the nation’s high coronavirus death toll on moderate influenza break outs in current winter seasons.

“When many people die of the flu in the winter, fewer die in heat waves the following summer. In this case, it was Covid-19 that caused many to die,” Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s primary epidemiologist, informed Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter previously today.

‘What has actually now been seen is that the nations that have actually had a relatively low death for influenza in the last 2, 3 years, such as Sweden, [also] have an extremely high excess death in Covid-19,” he stated, according to a translation supplied in The Times paper.

“Those which had a high influenza death rate, such as Norway, throughout the last 2 winter seasons, have relatively low Covid death. The exact same pattern has actually been seen in numerous nations. This might not be the entire description however part of it.”

Much attention has actually been paid to Sweden throughout the coronavirus pandemic since of its choice to not entirely lock down its public life and economy. Most of Europe did so as coronavirus cases rose in spring.

Tegnell’s public health firm rather suggested primarily voluntary procedures, such as great health, social distancing standards and working from house if possible.

Bars, dining establishments, many schools and companies stayed opened, nevertheless, and face masks are not commonly used. Sweden did restriction mass events and sees to senior care houses, nevertheless, although this latter limitation is because of be raised quickly in spite of a high death toll from Covid-19 being seen in such organizations. 

Sweden’s no-lockdown policy was seen by Tegnell as a method to accomplish a degree of herd resistance in the population, he informed CNBC in April. 

Herd resistance amongst a population, typically attained through vaccination, is reached when around 60% of residents are considered immune. With no vaccine readily available, nevertheless, researchers have actually been looking carefully at whether direct exposure to and healing from Covid-19 results in long-lasting resistance.

Pursuing herd resistance has actually shown questionable in Sweden since permitting the infection to spread (albeit with some procedures in location), has actually put susceptible groups such as the senior and individuals with existing health conditions at a higher danger of ending up being seriously ill and passing away. In July, WHO authorities cautioned that clients who recuperate from the infection might have the ability to get it once again, stating that some research studies recommend resistance might subside after a couple of months. 

Sweden has actually reported a greater variety of infections and deaths than its next-door neighbors, although, with around 10 million individuals, it has approximately double the population of its next-door neighbors Denmark, Finland and Norway. To date, Sweden has actually taped practically 90,000 cases and 5,870 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Denmark, by contrast, has actually taped under 25,000 cases and 641 deaths.

Unlike significant European economies France, Spain and the U.K., which are seeing coronavirus cases increase once again in what is being referred to as a 2nd wave of the pandemic, Sweden was at first believed to be preventing a revival. However, break outs amongst sports groups have actually emerged in current weeks, and increasing cases in the capital Stockholm suggest the city might now be headed for more limitations.

“Stockholm has actually seen a clear boost just recently, throughout any age groups,” Tegnell said in a press conference, Dagens Nyheter reported Tuesday. “We are talking about with Stockholm whether we require some extra possibility to take procedures to lower transmission.”

What possible procedures might be presented was not gone over, however Stockholm’s Health and Medical director Bjorn Eriksson, stated an uptrend in the Stockholm area might result in a “really severe scenario once again.”

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