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Sweden To Focus on Limiting the Effects

Published onsdag 15 juli 2009 kl 18.16

With just under 200 confirmed cases of Swine Flu, Sweden has so far not been too badly affected. But things are expected to get worse in the autumn, when 20 - or at times even 50 - per cent of the population will be affected.

The authorities have now given up on trying to stop the disease from spreading, and will instead focus on trying to limit its effects.

The change of focus means that the health service will start to direct testing, treatment and prevention to the particular groups that risk being more severely affected by the Swine Flu.

This means, among others, pregnant women, infants and people with chronic diseases under the age of 60. Older people, who normally are worst off when there is a flu going around, seem to have some level of immunity already, perhaps because they have been through many flu's in the past.

The focus on the risk groups are particularly important before the vaccine against the Swine Flu has arrived. The vaccine is expected to start arriving in Sweden at the end of September, and by the end of the year, the whole population will be vaccinated, if everything goes to plan.

But how does one go about vaccinating 9 million people? Radio Sweden's Ulla Engberg spoke to Anders Tegnell, head of the Epidemiology unit at the National Board of Health and Welfare?

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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