Influenza B with serious complications in Sweden
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Sweden’s Public Health Agency, together with the Infection Control Unit in Örebro County, are investigating a few cases of influenza B with serious complications reported in the area.
The cases, which were among people under the age of 18 without an underlying disease or condition, were very ill with complications such as myocarditis or encephalitis.
It is already known that reported complications can occur in connection with influenza infection, but this is unusual.
The investigation aimed to assess whether there were more cases of influenza B with severe complications than expected and whether there was any common cause in addition to influenza infection.
Therefore, the Public Health Authority has asked other infection control units to investigate whether there are similar cases in other regions. The Public Health Authority is also investigating whether there are similar backlogs of cases in other European countries, but nothing of the kind has been reported yet.
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Viral analyzes show that all of the Swedish characteristic influenza B strains in the 2022-2023 season, including samples from severe cases, belong to the same genetic pool of the type B/Victoria strain that dominates in the rest of Europe and that was included in the seasonal influenza vaccines.