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HEALTH

What happens if you lose your Danish yellow health insurance card?

Most people who live in Denmark will be familiar with the yellow health insurance card, but what do you do if it gets misplaced?

The Danish yellow health insurance card
The Danish yellow health insurance card is replaced for free when you move address but you may have to pay for a new one if you lose it. File photo: Jonas Skovbjerg Fogh/Ritzau Scanpix

All persons who are registered as resident in Denmark are given a personal registration number, which allows you to access public health services.

Your personal registration (CPR) number is printed on a yellow health insurance card which is issued to all residents of the country. Your GP’s surgery name and address are also printed on the card along with your name, address and the regional health authority you come under.

The rights to public health services are stated on the yellow health card itself, which is issued by the municipality in which you reside.

Denmark’s health services included under the public health system provide you with a family doctor or GP as well as free specialist consultations and treatments under the national health system, should you be referred for these.

You can also receive subsidies for medicine and medical services including some dental treatment, physiotherapy, chiropractor treatment and psychological consultations.

In most cases, you use your yellow health card to register that you have arrived for health appointments by scanning it once you enter the clinic’s reception area.

READ ALSO: Can foreigners in Denmark access free health care?

The yellow card can also be used as a form of ID in some situations – for example, newsagents will often accept it when you collect a package. This is despite the fact it doesn’t have a photo printed on it.

When you change address, thereby rendering the details on your yellow card obsolete, a new one is automatically sent out to your free of charge. But what happens if you lose the card or it is stolen (if inside your wallet, for example)?

According to borger.dk, it costs 215 kroner to replace a yellow health insurance card if you lose it, as well as if it is damaged beyond repair and is less than four years old; if you change doctor or insurance category; and if you change your name (provided the name change is not related to marriage). Some municipalities do not charge at all for new cards issued due to a change of name.

Most municipalities require you to pay for your new health insurance card with a debit card (Dankort), rather than by post or with payment apps like MobilePay.

In addition to a change of address, there are a few other circumstances in which the new yellow card is issued for free. These include your current GP closing or moving; if you change CPR number; if the card breaks and is over four years old; or if it is defective.

Unless you have a broken or defective card, in which case you should contact your municipality, the new one will be sent out automatically.

It usually takes around two weeks for a new health card to arrive, but if you need one more urgently for documentation purposes, municipalities can provide you with a temporary version. This is free of charge.

New cards can be ordered online, including cards ordered on behalf of children under 18 who live at home.

Source: borger.dk

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HEALTH

Monkeypox in Denmark: what causes it, and is it serious?

Denmark reported its first case of the monkeypox virus on May 23rd. What causes the virus, and should we be worried?

Monkeypox in Denmark: what causes it, and is it serious?

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox, abekopper in Danish, is a zoonotic virus (a virus spread from animals to humans) which most often occurs in areas of tropical rainforest in Central and West Africa. It is occasionally found in other regions, and cases have recently been discovered in Europe, North America and Australia.

“We’ve known about this virus in apes since the 1950s,” Fredrik Elgh, consultant and professor of virology at the University Hospital of Umeå in Sweden, told Swedish news wire TT.

“Every type of animal has its own type of pox, us humans had closely-related smallpox which was wiped out in the 1980s. Smallpox were an enormous issue throughout the history of humanity, we can see that on old mummies.”

“In more recent times, like the 1700s, we know that in every family, multiple children died of smallpox.”

There is no vaccine for monkeypox approved in Europe, but vaccines for smallpox are effective against the virus, as the two viruses are members of the same family.

“The vaccine used against smallpox also has an effect on monkeypox,” Elgh told TT. “That means that those born in the mid-70s or earlier will have a degree of immunologic memory. Young people have no immunity. There’s also a new, sophisticated vaccine which gives good coverage after two doses.”

“What’s good about poxes is that even if you take the vaccine after you’ve been infected, it has an effect on the progress of the illness. There are also antiviral medicines,” Elgh explained to TT.

What causes it?

Monkeypox is spread via close contact with an animal or human with the monkeypox virus. It can be transmitted via bodily fluids, lesions, respiratory droplets or through contaminated materials, such as bedding.

Recent cases of the virus in Europe are thought to have been spread through sexual activity, Bolette Søborg, head of section with the Danish Health Authority, said via a statement on Monday.

“There are indications that the infection is particularly found among men who have sex with men,” Søborg said.

“We were therefore last week in contact with the (organisations) AIDS-fondet and LGBT+ Danmark and asked them to help us create awareness in those groups that there is currently a need to be aware of guidelines relating to hygiene and use of protection during sex,” she said.

Denmark is not the only European country to have detected cases of monkeypox. Cases have also been reported in the United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

READ ALSO: Denmark registers first case of monkeypox

What are the symptoms?

The Danish health ministry describes the symptoms of monkeypox as including fever, shivering and a rash with blisters that can leave wounds when they heal.

Monkeypox typically has an incubation period of six to 16 days, but it can be as long as 21 days. Once lesions have scabbed over and fallen off, the person with the virus is no longer infectious.

Why is it in the news now?

Although cases of monkeypox have been reported outside of affected areas of Central and West Africa previously, the virus is making headlines in parts of Europe now because this is the first time cases have been identified in persons with no recent history of travel to affected areas and no history of contact with previous imported cases.

Danish infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) states that 83 cases have been reported across Europe including 23 in Spain. The man who tested positive in Denmark recently visited Gran Canaria, according to SSI.

Is it dangerous?

The type of monkeypox seen in affected areas of Central and West Africa can be serious and, occasionally, deadly. However, it appears that the cases detected so far in Europe have been relatively mild.

“In those countries where it is more prevalent, which is in Central and West Africa, a fatality rate between one and ten percent has been reported,” Elgh told TT. “But then, you have to remember that that’s in an African context where people are not as well-nourished and there isn’t the same access to healthcare, so it can’t be directly translated.”

“There’s not that much data, especially not on how it behaves in our part of the world. There are also different genetic variants of the virus with different levels of severity, so it’s not possible to comment on [how dangerous it is] before we know more,” he further told TT.

Could this cause a new pandemic?

It’s unlikely, Elgh believes. He told TT that “this is not a new pandemic”.

“The general public do not need to be worried about monkeypox,” he added. “But my belief and hope is that this will not be a pandemic like corona. The most likely scenario is that as long as we contact trace properly, it will ebb out,” he told TT.

He explained that the two viruses are different types of viruses, meaning that monkeypox cannot adapt as easily as the Covid-19 virus.

“Monkeypox is a DNA virus, while coronavirus is a RNA virus,” he explained to TT. “DNA viruses are much more stable, which means that you don’t need to be worried that they will adapt as quickly. It would take a lot and a long time before they adapt to humans.”

The Danish Patient Safety Authority said on Monday that contact tracing for monkeypox was being undertaken.

“The Danish Patient Safety Authority is now contact tracing so that close contacts to the patient can be given guidance as to how they should respond,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said in a statement.

“Health authorities do not expect broad community infections in Denmark, but we are following the situation closely so we can be as well prepared as possible for any development in the situation,” he said.

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