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Health Board: high risk of limited local spread of coronavirus

According to World Health Organization’s latest assessment, the novel coronavirus that started spreading from China, is generally contagious when symptoms are already present, but according to one study, a carrier of the virus could also be contagious a day before onset of any symptoms.

In most cases, the incubation period of the disease is 5-6 days, but the virus can be detected from the samples taken from the respiratory tract 1-2 days before and up to 37 after the onset of symptoms. „It is important to note that confirming the virus in a person does not automatically mean that they are contagious. Generally, the contagion is possible when the symptoms have already started, but we still have limited knowledge on this topic,“ said Mari-Anne Härma, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Epidemics Control. Härma added that according to data from WHO, one COVID-19 patient could infect 2-3 people on average.

Based on the decision of WHO to declare the pandemic of coronavirus and the fact that the virus is now spreading in all of the EU member states, the Health Board assesses the risk of limited local spread of the virus to be high in Estonia. Children and the pregnant could get infected the same way as others, but children generally show mild symptoms and the pregnant have the same symptoms as the general population. No serious complications of the disease have been recorded on new-borns so far even if the mother has suffered from COVID-19 induced pneumonia during the pregnancy. Furthermore, the transmission of the virus via breastfeeding has not been recorded.

People with chronic health problems and older people are thought to be at greater risk of developing sever symptoms.

According to the information known today, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu symptoms. The virus can cause cough, fever and breathing difficulties.  According to current data, 80 percent (including pneumonia) of the cases are mild, no different than the common cold. Approximately 14 percent experienced severe disease and 6 percent were critically ill.

People who have returned from the risk areas have to stay at home for 14 days and monitor their health.

If you have any concerns being infected with the coronavirus, call the family physician advisory line 1220. If the situation gets worse, call ambulance 112.

Coronavirus infection should be suspected if a person has returned from any particular risk area, or has been in close contact   with anyone showing symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that during this time of year, the number of respiratory infections usually increases.

Preventing infection should include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. In addition, maintain distance from people with emerging symptoms (e.g breathing difficulties).

The Health Board’s risk assessment is based on the data and risk evaluations and analyses of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and WHO. The Health Board considers the People's Republic of China, Italy, Iran and South Korea to be coronavirus high risk areas. Areas with average risk are Germany (North Rhine - Westphalia, Baden - Wuerttemberg and Land of Bavaria), France (Auvergne - Rhône - Alpes Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France), Tyrol ski resorts in Austria, Spain (Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country), Japan, Singapore. The risk of contagion is high for people who are currently staying in the countries with local widespread.

Find more information on the Health Board's dedicated website  and on the Health Board's Facebook page.

Veel uudiseid samal teemal


A total of 202 influenza and 1,726 COVID-19 cases reported this week 

In week fifteen, a total of 3,184 people fell ill with acute respiratory infections, of whom 38.4% were children. The overall incidence of acute respiratory viral diseases increased by 39%.


A total of 151 new influenza cases and 1,466 COVID-19 cases have been added this week

In week fourteen, a grand total of 2,297 people fell ill with acute respiratory infections. Overall, 36.4% of all of the new cases involved children. The number of new cases decreased by a third.