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Tularemia in Sweden

06 Sep 2019

The media have reported that at least 120 people have become ill with tularemia over the past week, bringing the total to around 690 this year (2019). Most new cases of illness are reported from the Dalarna and Gävleborg region, which together now have over 400 cases, while the number of new cases from Örebro counties has decreased.

Advice for Travellers

At risk travellers should be advised to:

  • Take precautions against tick bites including the use of insect repellents on the skin and insecticide impregnated clothes covering the skin as much as possible (long sleeves and long trousers tucked into socks).
  • The skin should be inspected daily for ticks, ticks may brush onto clothing but keep crawling for hours to find suitable skin to feed on, particularly in the groin, axillae and behind the knees.
  • Any ticks seen should be removed as quickly as possible by grasping the tick as near to the skin surface as possible and applying gentle traction (without twisting).
  • If a sore or rash develops at the site of a tick bite, medical advice should be sought.

Other prevention measures include:

  • Do not drinking untreated surface water.
  • Do not handle dead wild animals, particularly rabbits, hares and rodents. If this is unavoidable eg for work purposes, use gloves.
  • Thoroughly cook all meat before eating.