No new influenza cases were added in Estonia during week 7 (February 15-21), the Health Board (Terviseamet) said on Friday.
So far, a total of four influenza cases have been confirmed in Estonia this season through laboratory analyses, involving a single case of influenza A and three cases of influenza B. Two people have been hospitalised due to influenza.
In week 7, a total of 3,882 people sought medical aid due to acute viral upper respiratory tract infections, of whom 28 percent were children. The highest number of cases were registered in Pärnu, Tallinn, Tartu County, and Ida-Viru County.
The situation across Europe
According to the European Influenza Surveillance Network and the WHO, the intensity of the spread of influenza remains low within the European Union, as well as elsewhere in the world. The various hygiene and social distancing measures which have been implemented in order to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have also played a role in preventing the spread of the influenza virus.
Influenza is caused by viruses from the Orthomyxoviridae family, and primarily by the influenza A, B, and C viruses. Influenza A viruses have the highest pandemic potential. The symptoms of the disease include rapidly increasing fever, headache, dry cough, and/or head cold, tiredness and weakness, and muscular and joint pain. Influenza may cause serious complications, such as pneumonia or an intensifying of chronic pulmonary or cardiovascular diseases.
Influenza is an acute viral disease which spreads in the form of outbreaks; either as an epidemic or as a pandemic. The disease mainly affects children, but most hospitalisation cases and deaths involve the elderly, as well as those individuals who suffer from chronic disease.
Editor: Helen Wright