12. Nov 2021
A total of two influenzas cases have been confirmed during this season. The human bocavirus and rhinovirus are currently the dominating forms of virus.
According to Eliisa Metsoja, specialist at the Health Board’s Influenza Centre, a total of 6,175 people sought medical attention with symptoms of acute respiratory viral infection. Of that figure, children formed a sizable 36%. ‘The highest numbers of patients to have sought medical attention were registered in Tallinn, Tartu County, Viljandi County, Rapla County, Pärnu County, and Ida-Viru County,’ she explained. No influenza cases were confirmed last week following laboratory tests.
Metsoja would like to remind everyone that vaccination helps to prevent infection with the influenza virus. ‘Last season, contact between the general population and the influenza virus was down to the lowest possible level. Unfortunately this means that unvaccinated individuals will be more susceptible to catching the virus at the beginning of this influenza season,’ she explained. Metsoja added that as the number of individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has increased, all countries have gradually started to relax their strict restrictions, which itself serves to facilitate the spread of respiratory viruses. ‘As the forthcoming season may be worse than usual in terms of infections, the Health Board would like to advise everyone to get themselves vaccinated and to have their loved ones vaccinated too,’ she said.
From this October, anyone over the age of sixty-five can be vaccinated for free by visiting their family physician’s office, while vaccination also remains free for care home residents. ‘The elderly and anyone who comes into contact with the elderly or who suffers from chronic diseases should certainly consider getting themselves vaccinated,’ added Metsoja. The influenza vaccine will become effective between ten to fourteen days after someone receives the vaccination, in the case of healthy individuals, and its effect will last for up to one year. ‘If there are no contraindications, anyone above the age of six months can also be vaccinated against influenza,’ she explained.
People from the age of sixty-five onwards are primarily vaccinated by their family physicians. All contractual partners of the Health Board which have the influenza vaccine can provide the free vaccination service: at pharmacies, in hospitals, or through private health care institutions. The cost of the vaccination service is covered by the Health Insurance Fund.
The Health Board would like to remind everyone that they should remain at home and contact their family physician in the event of their exhibiting any symptoms. The family physician will prescribe the treatment and refer the patient to testing if this proves necessary. In addition to the oncoming influenza season, Estonia is also being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore people should take very seriously the risk of their falling ill, and should implement all possible preventive measures to avoid that.