The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 14 May 2020

Communicable disease surveillance and control

Communicable disease surveillance and control

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    Yes and no.

    General guidelines
    General guidelines are not binding, they are a recommendation as to what to do in order to comply with a law, an ordinance or a regulation.

    You do not have to do exactly as the guidelines say. However, if you decide to do something differently, you must be able to show that you are complying with the binding legislation. The Public Health Agency of Sweden has produced general guidelines on COVID-19 and also on swimming facilities and indoor noise.

    A recommendation is neither binding nor linked to binding legislation (unlike general guidelines). However, a recommendation is based on all the knowledge available on a particular subject, which means it is a good idea to follow a recommendation issued by an authority.

    Updated: 5/29/2020 5:45:09 PM

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    The Public Health Agency uses several different surveillance systems to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Sweden. Since COVID-19 is subject to mandatory reporting under the Communicable Diseases Act, physicians and laboratories continuously supply data to be analysed by the Public Health Agency on a daily basis.

    Other sources of data are random samples from patients with symptoms of influenza, or from other groups of people. Statistics from the medical advice service 1177 (web searches and telephone calls) is also used to monitor the situation.

    Collected data provides a background for decisions about interventions made with the aim of minimising mortality, the number of people affected by the disease, and the negative effects for society. Data from surveillance also makes it possible to monitor and evaluate the effects of interventions so far, and to follow and somewhat predict the further development of the pandemic.

    The Public Health Agency issues a weekly report showing the number of COVID-19 cases, beginning 20 March 2020.

    Weekly reports and other information about surveillance can be found here (in Swedish).

    Updated: 5/14/2020 10:44:18 AM

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    Classifying the disease as dangerous to public health and to society is a measure taken in order to enhance preparedness in Sweden, permitting interventions including quarantine, isolation, health screenings on arrival in Sweden and lockdown of areas.

    Depending on the intervention, the decision is made either by the county medical officer or by the Public Health Agency.

    Updated: 5/14/2020 10:46:12 AM

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    Contact tracing is an investigation of how an infected person might have contracted the disease (e.g. COVID-19), including the identification of other people who may be infected or have been exposed to the virus.

    Contact tracing can be a question of vital importance to prevent further spread or large outbreaks of the disease.

    Updated: 5/14/2020 10:46:52 AM