Only shortly after the corona pandemic was more or less declared over by politicians and the media in Sweden, the country was ravaged by a mysterious cough disease. On social media in particular, there are more and more posts from users reporting severe coughing fits. “It’s hard to say what it could be,” explains Swedish vaccine researcher Matti Sällberg.
“Why is everyone in Sweden sick and coughing the worst at the same time?” asks a Swede via TikTok. It is a very painful cough that will not stop, other users describe the symptoms. The Swedish health hotline “1177” also reports numerous questions about such symptoms.
While some Swedes even suspect monkey pox, even the vaccine expert can’t say exactly what the disease is. “There are many viruses and even bacteria that can cause coughing,” Sällberg explained to the Swedish “Expressen”.
From “strange times”
You have just come out of a “strange time,” he alludes to the pandemic that has been going on for more than two years. However, the way viruses spread has changed little. He suspects that behind the current wave of infection, people have changed their behavior and are making the spread of the virus easier – unsurprisingly if this changes the spread pattern.
New virus rampant?
So will Sweden be hit by an entirely new type of virus? Hardly any – a look at the other European countries is enough to identify the omicron variants BA.4/BA.5 as the trigger for the wave of infections. Although the country’s official corona data – unlike, for example, neighboring Finland – certainly do not show an increase in the number of infections, Sweden has almost completely stopped testing for the virus.
In the “Expressen”, however, Sällberg excludes that the current wave of infections is probably still the corona virus.