2017 could be another record year for borreliosis due to tick bites
The number of registered cases of severe borreliosis after tick bites is currently 430 for 2017. That is more than in the record year 2015.
In 2015, 426 cases of the tick borne disease Lyme borreliosis was registered, where the borrelia bacteria spread to organs and body tissue. In 2016 there were 409 cases. The figure for 2017 is currently at 430 and may, according to the Alert System for infectious diseases (MSIS), not be complete. It is the highest number registered cases since the current notification criteria were introduced in 1995.
The Tick Centre at Sørlandet Hospital has previously stated that it is difficult to say if there is a real increase in the number of cases in Norway, but figures from Sweden indicate an increase in recent years.
The Department of Disease Prevention, Environment and Health at the Institute for Public Health (FHI) has characterized the increase in recent years as too miniscule to claim that there is a growth. The tripling of number of cases since 1995, may be due to several possible causes. According to FHI, factors such as increased media attention, increased awareness by doctors regarding the disease, increased awareness in the population, change of diagnostic procedures besides a real increase in the number of cases are contributing factors.
Among those who get bitten by ticks, about 2 per cent lead to disease. Only about 10 per cent of these cases develop into a more serious borreliosis, according to the tick centre (Flåttsenteret).
There have been debate and discussions about diagnosis and treatment of borreliosis in Norway, where concepts are viewed differently by different environments.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today