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Gonorrhea up, other infections steady in Finland

Sexually transmitted infections and tick-borne encephalitis were both up according to a report on diseases by Finland’s health authorities.

Sukupuolitautitesti.
STIs are up in Finland. Image: AOP

The number of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) showed a clear rise in Finland last year, according to new figures from the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Last year there were around 600 gonorrhea cases reported in Finland, or about 180 more cases than there were in 2016. Chlamydia infections also rose, according to the agency..

There were 29 cases of Hepatitis A during the year, with many of those linked to an ongoing outbreak among men who have sex with men.

Bowel infections linked to dirty water were also up, with 250 cases of cryptosporidiosis reported. That’s a ten-fold increase compared to a decade earlier, with the most cases concentrated in Ostrobothnia.

The cryptosporidium parasite spreads easily, especially through faeces in bodies of water. It can also spread from person to person through touch.

Drug-resistant diseases

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) cases numbered 82, continuing an increase seen over several years as ticks spread through the country away from their previous coastal habitats. The majority of TBE cases were however recorded in the usual risk areas around the south-western edges of the country.

One other cause of concern in the report was the number of cases of antibiotic-resistant microbial infections. Although the number dropped slightly to 1,435, MRSA infections among children rose.

THL regards drug-resistant diseases as one of Finland’s biggest future public health challenges.

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