Study: Share of British coronavirus variant in Estonia is 13 percent

Coronavirus testing kit.
Coronavirus testing kit. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Results of a recent study conducted by the University of Tartu and the Health Board show that the share of the British coronavirus variant among all Estonian infections is 13 percent.

Studies have shown that the so-called British strain is more agressive than other variants and it has also been connected to faster spread, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Thursday.

At the same time, researchers did not find any of the South African variant in the sample. The specific strain is feared to respond less to the existing vaccines. So far, it has only been identified in tests given by people arriving in Estonia from elsewhere.

In mid-February, it was known that most cases of the British variant were brought in from elsewhere, but the strain is now spreading within Estonia as well.

"When we did sequencing in the end of January and the start of February, many strains were brought in. Now we see more and more that it is spreading locally. We have found the strain among tests who have been infected locally, within Estonia," explained Krist Huik, University of Tartu medical microbiologist and virologist.

"The South African strain has been discovered in eight tests and all were brought in via travel. What is interesting is that it has arrived from Tanzania over the last weeks, which seems to have become a tourism destination," Huik added.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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