Sweden’s high coronavirus mortality is mainly explained by last year’s mild flu season in the country, says state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.
Known as the “father” of the Swedish corona strategy, Tegnell says Dagens Nyheterin in the interview that there are naturally several underlying factors in mortality. However, according to him, the silence of the flu season is one of the most significant: debilitated people who usually die from the flu would now perhaps survive the seasonal flu, but later died of COVID-19.
– A new report shows a strong link between low influenza mortality and high COVID-19 mortality. And vice versa, Tegnell notes to DN.
According to the newspaper, European statistics show that last year the flu hit Sweden harder, for example in Finland and Norway, where the mortality rate of the coronavirus has also been clearly lower than in Sweden. On the other hand, influenza mortality has been low for years, in addition to Sweden, for example in the United Kingdom and Belgium, where coronary mortality has also been high.
In Sweden, almost 8,000 influenza infections were diagnosed during last year’s flu season. There were almost 6,000 cases a year ago and almost 13,000 cases a year ago.
Tegnell also expects a milder one from the coming winter seasonal flu, as more attention is paid to hand hygiene and safety intervals with the coronavirus.
In DN’s interview, Tegnell also frames Finland’s coronavirus activities, such as diligent testing, although he states that Finland’s starting points for preparing for coronavirus were better than Sweden from the beginning.
According to him, Finns brought less virus from abroad, there are fewer immigrant groups in Finland where the virus spread strongly in Sweden, and there is no metropolitan area like Stockholm in Finland.
– Finland’s low figures are no coincidence, Tegnell admits.
5,860 people have died of COVID-19 in Sweden. According to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Sweden has the 11th highest coronary mortality rate in the world. Sweden shares the same ranking with the United States on the list.
Tegnell tells DN that the country’s epidemic situation improved faster than expected during the summer. The continuation of the situation depends, among other things, on the situation in the rest of Europe. As a particular danger area, Tegnell also highlights workplaces where the virus can spread effectively.