Survey: Coronavirus rate similar to February, half as many patients

Doctors treating a patient at East Tallinn Central Hospital.
Doctors treating a patient at East Tallinn Central Hospital. Source: Ida-Tallinna keskhaigla

Coronavirus prevalence is comparable to February, but fewer people need hospital care, the results of the latest University of Tartu study shows. Approximately 1 percent of the population is infected.

The results show, 77 percent of adults have developed antibodies against covid-19, either through vaccination or by recovering from the disease.

Vaccinated people are almost three times less likely to become infected than the unvaccinated or those have not had the disease.

The study was carried out between September 15-27 and tested 2,378 people at random.

Fifteen of those tested were virus carriers and four had recovered from the disease and were no longer infectious.

The results show that every 110th adult (0.91 percent) is currently estimated to be a virus carrier in Estonia.

Those infected are mostly middle-aged and young adults. In most cases, they show symptoms.

Study leader Professor of Family Medicine of the University of Tartu Ruth Kalda said: "In February, with the same infection rates, more than 400 coronavirus patients needed hospital care. This Monday, 195 people were in the hospital with coronavirus. This confirms that vaccination is very effective especially in preventing severe cases."

However, the prevalence of antibodies varies somewhat from region to region.

"The prevalence of antibodies in southern Estonia and Pärnu County is modest, which is also reflected in the number of new cases," Kalda said.

Reduced sense of danger

Participants in the prevalence study were asked about their everyday behavior.

The results showed that although mask-wearing has become more widespread compared to the study in August, fewer people are following the rules.

At the same time, exposure to the potentially infected has increased.

"The main precautions should still be followed, as vaccinated people can also contract and potentially transmit the virus," member of the research team, Associate Professor of Public Health of the University of Tartu Mikk Jürisson said.

The study is carried out by the University of Tartu in cooperation with Synlab Eesti, Medicum and Kantar Emor.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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