Flu and coronavirus spreading in Estonia

Coronavirus rapid antigen test equipment.
Coronavirus rapid antigen test equipment. Source: ERR

Both flu and coronavirus are currently spreading in Estonia. Data from the Health Board shows there are more cases in Ida-Viru County.

Julia Geller, a specialist at the Health Board's influenza Center, said the situation is calm but there are noticeably more viral infections. Children are currently suffering the most.

Influenza has been confirmed in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County, but these are isolated cases. There has also been a slight uptick of coronavirus cases.

"There is no pressure on the health system, and there is no fear of it. New strains are coming, but morbidity is not as high as in previous years or even [several] months ago as it was at the beginning of the year. Overall, the situation is quite calm," Geller said.

Virologist Dr. Irja Lutsar said several new coronavirus strains have arrived in Estonia. However, preliminary data suggests they do not cause severe symptoms.

Irja Lutsar. Source: Siim Lõvi/Priit Mürk/ERR

A new sub-variant, Eris, has become the dominant strain in countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, and Canada.

"Eris arrived in Estonia a long time ago. Now the newer strain is this Pirola or what comes from the letters PRO. These new strains are sure to come as Coronaviruses are constantly mutating," said Lutsar, who is also an MP for Eesti 200.

Geller said members of risk groups should test themselves for coronavirus but the rest of society does not need to.

Lutsar said testing could be done when a person has symptoms. 

"A test can be done, but if the person has no symptoms, I don't think it is necessary to test perfectly healthy people. And at the same time, these perfectly healthy people do not need to be kept at home or isolated. All those rules no longer apply. However, if a person is ill, if they have symptoms and they have the coronavirus, then staying at home should be limited to how long those symptoms last, not by counting days," she said.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright

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