Facts: The Covid situation in Sweden
According to the Public Health Agency’s latest weekly report, the spread of covid-19 in Sweden was low during weeks six and seven. The fact that testing takes place on a smaller scale plays a role.
The authority sees a continued downward trend in terms of hospitalized patients with covid-19 in inpatient care and also in terms of the number of deaths.
The number of new patients with covid-19 who need intensive care has varied in recent weeks, according to the Public Health Agency. However, the number is at a low level.
Source: Public Health Agency
The Public Health Agency’s statistics point to fewer cases of illness in covid-19, influenza and RS virus since January. That image is shared by several hospitals.
Both January and especially February have been relatively “calm” months. However, Covid has continued to dominate over the flu this season, according to Katarina Johnsson who is deputy head of administration at Skåne University Hospital.
— There has been a lower load of infection patients during February. We had the peak in terms of covid and flu on January 2, she says.
After that, a reduction was seen which has persisted.
— It went down much faster than what we have been used to in the last two years and already at the end of January we were down to a really low level. Since then, it has stayed there during February.
A similar situation can be seen in several parts of the country. Norrland University Hospital in Umeå has been quieter since the turn of the year, as have hospitals in Stockholm.
That the peaks for the flu and the RS virus coincided at Christmas was unlucky, thinks Johan Bratt, who is the chief physician in the region. But since then the overall picture is much better.
Johan Bratt, chief physician in the Stockholm region. Archive image.
— As far as covid is concerned, it has gradually decreased week by week since the turn of the year. The RS virus has subsided and it is much calmer there, says Bratt.
Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg also saw how the virus peak dropped relatively quickly.
— We still get some covid-19, especially in people with underlying serious diseases, but also occasional unvaccinated otherwise healthy people who become seriously ill. There is also a fairly large spread of influenza B among children, but not very many need hospital care, says Magnus Gisslén, senior physician at the hospital’s infectious disease clinic and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Gothenburg.
However, it is difficult to say why the proper peak rather quickly fell, according to Gisslén.
— There is an interaction between the conditions for viruses to spread and the immunity in the population.
“Also last year, when the omicron came, we had a high peak of the flu which fell extremely quickly at the same time as the omicron increased sharply.
Magnus Gisslén, chief physician at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Gothenburg. Archive image.
February has now turned into March. Have we then passed the worst infection period for this winter? Predicting the future is difficult, according to everyone. But hopefully we won’t see any new peaks this season.
— There are some other infections with increased occurrence and degree of severity, such as streptococcal infections. It is not impossible that certain types of infections may increase again in the spring. I still think that the worst is over for this season and that we will only see an increase again this autumn, says Magnus Gisslén and adds:
— But that is a guess.