Harpest disease is increasing in Värmland
Harpest is a disease that causes high fever and headaches and is often transmitted through, for example, mosquito bites. According to Region Värmland, 13 cases have been identified so far this year compared to eight cases last year. - And it's only so far. We know that September is the month when we get the most cases, says the infection control physician Anna Skogstam.
The disease is a bacterium that is carried by rodents that sore and hares. When the animals are bitten by mosquitoes or ticks, the bacteria can be passed on to humans.
- It can be different symptoms but often you get a mosquito or tick bite and bacteria settle in the skin. It gets a little sore at the bite, sometimes not visible at all. Then the lymph nodes swell, says Anna Skogstam.Can crack
Infected people get a fever and the lymph nodes, which sit, among other things, in the armpits, at the groin and around the neck, become sore.
- They can become very large and sometimes they swell so much that they break and last, says Anna Skogstam.Several pathways of infection
In Dalarna, a major outbreak was reported in August. 2009 is considered one of the worse years for Värmland. At that time 65 people became ill with the disease.
Region Värmland expects 2019 to be another year beyond normal. The worst period is not over yet.
- In August and September we move a lot in the woods and in the land. We pick mushrooms and berries and hunt, says Anna SKogstam.
What is so dangerous about harpest?
- This bacterium can spread not only through insect bites, but also if you handle, for example, hay and grass where there have been dead rodents. Then you can breathe in the dust and develop pneumonia and that is serious, says Anna Skogstam.
If you hunt hare, for example, you can also be infected if you rip the animal and cut on the knife.
- You should seek care on time. If you feel ill, you should go to a health center or an emergency room, depending on how ill you feel, says Anna Skogstam.
The disease is easily treated with antibiotics.
This is harpest.