While more and more Swedes are getting vaccinated against the tick-borne virus TBE, the number of those infected here has reached record levels.
According to statistics from the organization SLD last year 190,000 Swedes were vaccinated against TBE, an increase over the year before. Nevertheless, in 2012 there were 287 reported cases of TBE infection here, compared to 284 cases in 2011.
While the numbers are relatively small compared to conditions like the flu, TBE is a serious nerve disease, which can lead to life-long problems such as memory loss, speech and concentration difficulties, long-term fatigue and sometimes paralysis.
Marika Hjertqvist of the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control tells the TT news agency that the only conclusion she can draw is that even more people might have contracted TBE had they not been vaccinated, or the wrong people are getting the vaccinations, that is, people in urban areas where there is little risk they can be infected by ticks.
Ticks in Sweden also carry the bacteria that causes Borrelia or Lyme disease.