Health scare among Swedish scouts
Approximately 1,900 Swedish teens are seeking medical help after an alarm was raised about a serious illness that may have spread at the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. A Swedish teenager returning from the camp has a confirmed case of meningitis at Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital, and two other Swedish cases are under investigation, according to the Public Health Agency. Health agencies have urged returning participants to seek preventive treatment as a precaution, even if they're not feeling ill. Meningitis is a serious bacterial infection that most commonly affects children and teenagers. The Scout Association of Japan said it was also aware of three cases in Scotland, and that it had warned others who had camped near the Scottish scouts, including groups from Sweden, Switzerland, France, Finland, the United States and Japan. The Jamboree brought together about 30,000 participants from countries throughout the world.

Many fires under investigation in Sweden
An unusual number of fires have been threatening Sweden this year. Most recently, one fire killed a woman and threatened to destroy the entire town of Eksjo in southern Sweden. Residents described it as a war zone after more than 200 people were told to leave their homes in anticipation of the worst on August 16. Eksjö, one of Sweden's oldest wooden towns, was founded in 1568, and includes 56 historic buildings. Firefighters said that all the buildings destroyed in the fire were built in the 1600s. Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing. Another fire, discovered on Aug. 17 at a farm on Öland, killed 150 cows in their barn. About the same number were rescued before it was too late. How the fire started is still unknown.

Stockholm respects mental health patients
In the U.S., a number of hospitals are experimenting with ways to respond to emergency calls by mental health patients. Vehicles without sirens, lights and obvious markings can reduce the trauma for a patient, and it may also ease the pressure on fire departments and police, who spend thousands of hours each year transferring psychiatric patients who pose little or no safety risk. And now Sweden is doing the same. Since its launch in March, the first psychiatric emergency car (PAM) in Stockholm has been busy. It runs every evening from Sabbatsberg Hospital, averaging four to five alarms each night. Police work with PAM units, and have been to 508 alarms together. But in 90 percent of cases, police are able to leave after they know the PAM unit can care for the mental health patients and transport them to the hospital. Michael Calsson, fire chief and leader of the operation, is very positive and believes PAM has a big impact on de-stigmatizing mental illness. "You are not a criminal because you feel bad," says Calsson. "We have received positive feedback from people who with a mental health emergency, but also from the police, ambulance and rescue services."