NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Swedish Public Health Agency, or Folkhälsomyndigheten says the flu epidemic is underway for the season and there is a risk that it will be intense.

generic influenza virion
3D influenza/CDC

Since the beginning of November, the number of flu cases has increased, and the season’s epidemic has been going on nationally since week 48. So far, mainly influenza A (H3N2) has been detected in Sweden. It is a variant that usually means that people in older age groups risk being hit harder. The spread of influenza has also been low or very low in Sweden over the past two winters, which means that more people may be susceptible to becoming infected and falling ill in autumn and winter.

For people in risk groups, vaccination against influenza is the best way to get protection against a serious illness. The vaccination is free of charge for them, throughout the country.

“We see that we now have a spread of infection in several regions and sporadic cases in most regions. Therefore, it is now high time for people at risk to be vaccinated to get protection against serious illness. This applies, for example, to both children and adults who have heart or lung disease, diabetes or other risk factors”, says AnnaSara Carnahan, epidemiologist at the Swedish Public Health Agency.