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Seasonal flu passes the epidemic threshold in Sweden

The flu season is in full force in Sweden and the number of new cases has increased dramatically in a week, local media reported on Friday.

Influenza cases doubled between November 21 and 28, and the Public Health Agency now classifies it as a national epidemic, Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported.

Most cases are influenza type A, of which there are two seasonal variants: A(H1N1)pdm09, which caused the swine flu epidemic in 2009, and A(H3N2), which first appeared in 1968, DN reported.

So far, five people have been admitted to intensive care with influenza, says AnnaSara Carnahan, epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency, to DN.

“The elderly usually cope better with H1N1. H3N2, on the other hand, hits the elderly harder,” says Carnahan to DN.

She said people are likely more susceptible now than in recent years because a long time has passed since the last outbreak.

Carnahan urged those in risk groups – the elderly and vulnerable – to get vaccinated.

The incidence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections has also increased sharply in Sweden in recent days, along with the number of covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, DN reported.

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