07. Jan 2021
In the period between 28 December and 3 January, a total of 2,945 people sought medical aid due to acute upper respiratory tract infections, of whom 20% were children.
The highest number of cases were registered in Tallinn, in Tartu County, in Narva, in Ida-Viru County, and in Pärnu County. No confirmed influenza cases were found this week. Rhinovirus remains the main virus which is circulating in Estonia this season.
The situation in Europe
According to the European Influenza Surveillance Network and the WHO, the intensity of the spread of influenza remains low in the European Union, as well as elsewhere in the world. The various hygiene and social distancing measures which have been implemented to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have probably also had a role in preventing the spread of the influenza virus.
The symptoms of a viral infection
The symptoms of viral upper respiratory tract diseases usually include a head cold, cough, sore throat, and fever. Many of these cases are mild, involving a low-grade fever and no significant symptoms. The various viruses are difficult to identify by their clinical symptoms alone. A specific virus can only be identified by means of analysis which is carried out by a virological laboratory.
The symptoms are usually limited to the upper respiratory tract in the form of a head cold, cough, or low-grade fever. Just like influenza, however, parainfluenza, RSV, and adenovirus infections may also result in pneumonia. Symptoms may range from an upper respiratory tract inflammation to pneumonia, especially in children. There is no specific treatment. If necessary, supporting treatment is used which alleviates the symptoms, such as in terms of lowering the fever, using analgesics, drinking plenty of fluids, and administering medicinal products which facilitate breathing.
Influenza is an acute viral disease which spreads in the form of outbreaks; as an epidemic or a pandemic. The disease affects mainly children, but most hospitalisation cases and deaths involve the elderly, as well as those individuals who suffer from chronic diseases.