Since the mid-1980s, the number of tick-borne encephalitis cases in Sweden has been increasing every year. Previously, mostly residents of the eastern territories fell ill, but over time, the risk zone started expanding to the west. The spread of insects transmitting the disease is associated with climate change, TASS reports citing the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
© Spok83 | Shutterstock
According to the agency, 238 people caught encephalitis in Sweden in 2016. The figure rose to 391 in 2017 and remained at about the same level (385) in 2018.
«It all started from the east from Stockholm and its surroundings, but in recent years, more cases have been recorded in the western regions, including Västra Götaland and Örebro Counties, Västmanland and Värmland Provinces,» said epidemiologist Marika Hjertqvist. According to her, because of climate change, ticks remain active for longer periods and attack people spending time in the open air.