05. Nov 2021
In week 43, a total of 6,472 people sought medical attention with symptoms of acute respiratory viral infections. Of that figure, children formed a sizable 37%. The highest numbers of patients who have sought medical attention were registered in Pärnu County, Tallinn, Tartu County, and Ida-Viru County.
One influenza A virus case was confirmed last week. This was the second confirmed influenza case this season. Rhinovirus, the respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus are currently the prevailing viruses. According to the European Influenza Surveillance Network, activity levels of the influenza virus within the European Union remain low this season, with the influenza A(H3) virus dominating influenza cases.
The influenza virus can be prevented through prompt vaccination. For healthy individuals, the influenza vaccine takes effect around ten to fourteen days after immunisation, and the effect lasts for up to one year. Anyone from six months of age upwards can be vaccinated against influenza if the individual concerned does not have any underlying health conditions which would mitigate against this.
As of this October, individuals from the age of sixty-five upwards can be vaccinated free of charge by visiting their family physician practice. Immunisation will also remain free for all care home residents. Vaccination should especially be considered by the elderly and anyone who comes into contact with the elderly, as well as anyone who may be suffering from chronic diseases.
Influenza spreads in the form of outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. Children are most frequently infected with influenza, but the majority of hospitalisation cases and deaths involve the elderly and individuals who already have chronic diseases.
The Health Board would like to remind everyone to stay at home and to contact their family physician if they find that they are exhibiting any symptoms at all. The family physician will decide on the course of treatment and will refer the individual to testing if this proves necessary. In addition to the beginning of the influenza season, Estonia is also being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore the issue of falling ill should be taken seriously, and all preventive measures should be taken.