First flu case of season diagnosed in Estonia

Tamiflu is used in the treatment of the flu.
Tamiflu is used in the treatment of the flu. Source: Priit Luts/ERR

Last week, the 43rd week of 2019, a total of 2,794 sought treatment for upper respiratory infections. The season's first case of influenza type B was confirmed in Tallinn as well.

49.6 percent of those to go to the doctor were children aged 15 and under. By age group, children under the age of five are get sick most often.

The previous week, 2,930 in total went to the doctor with upper respiratory infections.

The viruses most often diagnosed are parainfluenza and rhinovirus.

According to Olga Sadikova, chief specialist at the Health Board's Laboratory of Communicable Diseases, October and November are the most ideal time to get the flu vaccine, but one can get vaccinated against the flu at their family doctor or vaccine offices at any time during the flu season, and at select pharmacies through Nov. 17.

Those belonging to risk groups in particular should strongly consider getting the vaccine, as they are most at risk of difficult illness or even death.

"For example, those who end up with complications take a long time to get better, and they are out of work or school for longer," Sadikova said. "After they get better, a recovery period then follows which may similarly last weeks."

In healthy individuals, the flu vaccine takes effect 10-14 days after the shot is administered and is effective for a period of up to a year. In the absence of any contraindications, flu vaccines can be administered to children as young as six months of age.

Risk groups for influenza include small children, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and people who come into contact with many people at work.

The Health Board would like to stress that while the flu may not be very serious for many, in some cases with few symptoms and just a low fever, infected individuals can still pass the virus on to people belonging to risk groups for whom contracting the flu can prove life-threatening.

As a result, the Health Board recommends that anyone displaying any symptoms of the flu, even in the case of individual symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or cold, avoid visiting loved ones in the hospital or families with small children, elderly people or people with chronic illnesses during flu season.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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