Samples taken from five residents of Tallinn who had returned from Bergamo, Italy, to Estonia through Riga on Feb. 29, tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of affected people in Estonia to 10.
All the coronavirus cases have been imported.
The Healh Board has a list of the passengers on the Feb. 29 flight from Bergamo to Riga, and has been in contact with all those affected. The agency estimates that the people contracted the virus during their stay in northern Italy. All five virus carriers are at present being treated at home.
The Health Board also has the passenger information of the people on the Feb. 29 direct flight from Bergamo to Tallinn. According to the information available, one of the passengers on the said flight has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The disease is transmitted by respiratory droplets and contaminated surfaces alike. The virus survives 24-48 hours on hard surfaces, 8-12 hours on porous surfaces and up to 72 hours on wet surfaces, according to the World Health Organization. The virus does not spread through ventilation systems.
After returning from a risk area, a person should stay at home and monitor their health for 14 days. If any symptoms attributable to the disease appear, the patient should contact their family doctor.
Samples are taken from people who suspect having contracted the virus at their homes by ambulance teams in Tallinn and Tartu. A three-member ambulance unit is responding to call-outs to public places, such as the port and airport, around the clock.
The Health Board has analyzed altogether 183 samples, 173 of which tested negative and 10 positive for the coronavirus.
People who suspect that they are infected should consult with their family doctor or make a call to the family doctor hotline 1220. In case of more serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, a call should be made to the emergency number 112.
There are reasonable grounds for suspecting a coronavirus infection if a person has both recently traveled to an area affected by the virus and is also exhibiting the corresponding symptoms. Otherwise the person may have contracted influenza or a similar virus.
The Health Board is advising people to wash their hands and avoid people who have symptoms of respiratory illness.
On the basis of the risk assessment of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the risk areas of the spread of the coronavirus at the moment are China, Iran, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the North Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont.
Further information and updates on the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 in Estonia are available on the Health Board’s website at https://www.terviseamet.ee/en .