COVID-19 restrictions causing drop in other infections at nursery schools

Sand box.
Sand box. Source: Pixabay

While in everyday news the coronavirus is covered only in negative tones, its effect on children in Estonia has if anything been rather positive. Since children with even the smallest symptoms are kept out of nursery due to fears about the virus, illnesses in general are not spreading, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) found Thursday night.

Though it might be expected that the coronavirus autumn wave has led to nurseries being half-empty, there are in actual fact more children than ever before attending, because their health rates have improved, AK reported.

Manager of Loo nursery Katrin Paldermaa told the show that: "Attendance is high. In the smallest children's group, pre-school group, the groups are full every day."

Paldermaa thinks that one of the reasons the children have stayed healthy is that parents are not allowed to enter the premises. Children are dropped off and collected outside the nursery facilities.

While last autumn Loo nursery followed the principle that a runny nose did not equate to being sick, in today's climate both children and staff are not allowed to come in even with the slightest symptoms.

Paldermaa said: "It was usual that children with small symptoms were brought to the nursery and the fact is that the viruses spread more readily then."

At the Veskitammi nursery in Laagri, Harju Country, more children are attending nursery than in previous years, and manager of the nursery Rita Klein considers falling chickenpox rates one of the factors.

Klein said: "But what we have seen is that parents are being extremely responsible; they leave a child with any kind of symptoms home, and maybe this is one of the reasons why the children are healthier."

Family doctor Diana Inferainen said that the adenosine viruses haven't disappeared anywhere from Estonia, but it's hard for them to spread with the present stay-at-home rates.

Inferainen said: "What makes me, a doctor, happy is that there are fewer of these horrendous complications, fewer ear and lung infections. So the takeaway is that when sick people stay at home and recover by themselves, then others suffer less as a result."

Doctors won't establish zero tolerance on runny nose symptoms per se, however, because after the first seven days, what ever caused it no longer carries a risk of infection, and it is permissible for a child to mingle with their peers.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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