The number of people testing positive for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia has decreased during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, according to figures released by the Swedish Public Health Agency.
Chlamydia cases decreased by around 11 per cent between May and June 2020, compared to the same period last year, while the first four months of 2020 saw the same level as 2019.
Inga Velicko, an epidemiologist at the Swedish Public Health Agency, said that the reason for the decline is most likely not due to different patterns of behaviour but due to fewer people seeking testing, medical publication Dagens Medicin reports.
“It may be that not everyone knows that you can order a home test online. Among young people, I think many know about it, but there may be fewer among the older generations,” Velicko said.
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Therese Zetterqvist Eriksson, a health professional at a youth clinic, said that the statistics could be affected by the closure of youth clinics and other health facilities due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
“I can imagine that has reduced testing; it is easier to slip into a drop-in than to book an appointment,” Eriksson said.
The trend comes just over two years after the Public Health Authority noted a massive 44 per cent surge in cases of gonorrhoea, with cases among the gay community increasing even further still.
“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,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said at the time.
Tegnell is now far more well known for heading Sweden’s coronavirus outbreak strategy. Some have criticised him for not recommending the government introduce stricter measures to prevent infections and deaths.