Sweden Saw Biggest Ever Increase in Gonorrhoea Cases in 2017

(GERMANY OUT) Die Hand einer jungen Frau zieht ein Kondom zur Verhütung einer Schwangerschaft aus der Tasche ihre Jeans (Photo by Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Swedish cases of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea saw a record-breaking rise in 2017, continuing the reverse of a trend which saw the disease being almost totally eradicated just a decade ago.

There were some 2,550 new cases in 2015, a 44 per cent rise from the already historically-high 1,778 cases 2016 reports Sweden Television (SVT). Earlier reports stated the number of people who sought treatment for gonorrhoea in the early part of 2017 was already three times higher than the same period in 2016.

While rates of infection with the disease were traditionally broadly similar between straight men, women, and gay men, what the Swedish Public Health Authority classifies as MSM — men who have sex with men — have seen a rapid rise in the past five years. In 2017 the number of cases among the gay community increased 59 per cent — well above the national average.

The spread of the disease has impacted disproportionately on certain areas. In the national capital of Stockholm, the prevalence of the disease is now 63 cases per 100,000 inhabitants — significantly ahead of the national rate of 25 cases per 100,000.

Speaking to SVT, Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist at the Public Health Authority said of the rise: “Gonorrhea had almost disappeared completely in Sweden, but unfortunately we are seeing an increase again. The increase is mainly in the group of men who have sex with men, but we also see an increase in other groups.

“The reason for spreading is hard to know, but there are obvious connections to how individuals assess risks and how important it is with condom use”.

Gonorrhoea is not the only disease thought to have been brought under control by European health authorities which has made a sudden comeback in recent years. Breitbart London reported in 2016 on the revival of long-eradicated diseases in Germany and Denmark, including Tuberculosis and Diphtheria, which were recorded among incoming migrants arriving as part of the Europe migrant crisis.

The sudden arrival of large numbers of people with complex healthcare needs placed a huge strain on European healthcare systems, it was reported, with the migrant crisis becoming a public health crisis of its own.

The Swedish authorities have not indicated a link between migrants and the increase in gonorrhoea, however.

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