Sweden was a “net exporter” of corona infection, new study claims

Stockholm SwedenPhoto: Peter Ivey Hansen / Unsplash

Sweden’s corona strategy may have led to infection being exported from Sweden to neighboring countries, a new Swedish-Norwegian study shows.

“During the first year of the pandemic, Sweden was, in fact, a net exporter of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to our Nordic neighbors,” researcher John Petterson at Uppsala University told Uppsala Nya Tidning.

The study was conducted by researchers at Uppsala University, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and the University of Sydney in Australia.

The study analyzed more than 71,000 patient samples. As the virus mutates continuously, it has been possible to construct a genetic family tree for how the virus spread in the Nordic countries based on information about when the samples were taken and data on the virus’s genetic material.

The study shows that Sweden had the most “branches” on the family tree, both in absolute numbers and in relation to population. The researchers believe this may be because Sweden had a less restrictive corona strategy than neighboring countries. In addition, it turns out that infection “chains” originating in Sweden have crossed national borders in several hundred cases.

“Finland registered most cases of this type of virus export from Sweden, despite the country having strict travel restrictions. Presumably, Finnish citizens, who were not covered by the entry ban, brought with them infection from Sweden when they returned to Finland,” Pettersson noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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