A person returning from a trip abroad has set off a minor measles outbreak in Uppsala, with cases now turning up in Stockholm, health officials warned on Wednesday.
The Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet, SMI) has warned the public that ten measles cases in Uppsala and Stockholm are believed to be linked to the same source of contagion, a patient returning from abroad.
"The link is likely, but we haven’t confirmed it through laboratory tests yet,” Katarina Widgren at SMI told The Local.
The most recent case was reported just days ago and as the measles is a highly contagious airborne disease, which can in the worst case lead to pneumonia or meningitis, Swedes are required by law to report falling ill to their doctor.
“If you fear you might have the symptoms of measles, please make sure you don’t go sit in a waiting room at the hospital or at your general practice,” Widgren said.
“Call Vårdguiden or get in touch with your doctor immediately so you don’t accidentally infect the entire waiting room.”
Widgren advised people who did not take part in Sweden’s vaccination campaign as children to check with their parents if they ever got the jab in their country of origin.
Since 1982, children in Sweden are offered vaccinations against the disease, which according to the state-run health website Vårdguiden.se means measles cases are extremely rare in Sweden.If you click through to the Vårdguiden link, you'll see that its information is also available in languages ranging from Greek and Kurdish to Somali and Mongol. As we saw in Stockholm last fall, Sweden is a very multicultural country.