During the week, 22 flu virus were added along with 2,241 COVID-19 cases
In week 47, a grand total of 3,925 people fell ill with acute respiratory infections. Overall, 42% of all of the new cases involved children. Twenty-two laboratory-confirmed flu cases were registered, all of them involving type A flu viruses. COVID-19 cases increased to 2,241, of which 474 were confirmed through laboratory testing.
In week 47, the etiological structure changed in the virus which is causing upper respiratory tract infections. Based on information which had been logged during a targeted survey of acute upper respiratory tract infections (with this survey being known as ‘Sentinel Monitoring’), it can be seen that the share of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) increased significantly, making up 25% of all Sentinel samples which resulted in positive confirmation, while the rhinovirus share of the total is at 19.2%, and parainfluenza virus is at 11.5%. The share of influenza, RS, and SARS-CoV-2 viruses is equal for all, at 5.9% each.
Based on registered information, it can be estimated that the intensity of the influenza spread is still low, but the number of laboratory-confirmed samples has begun to increase. Laboratory-confirmed influenza cases have been registered in Harju County, Ida-Virumaa County, Jõgeva County, Pärnu County, Rapla County, Tartu County, Valga County, Viljandi County, and Võru County. The spread of the virus has become permanent in Harju County, Tartu County, and Võru County, but its spread is still limited across the country as a whole.
Compared to the figures for the previous week, it can be seen that the spread of COVID-19 increased amongst children up to four years of age and in working-age people, by 14.7% and 21.8% respectively. Children under five years of age continue to be the most heavily affected.
According to the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre, sixteen patients have been hospitalised due to influenza since the beginning of the season, with 37.5% of those patients who required hospitalisation being over 65 years of age.
The number of registered COVID-19 cases remained at a stable level. However, the ‘R’ infection rate still indicates a tendency towards growth in the available figures. The incidence of COVID-19 infections has increased amongst the elderly. The number of cases which have been registered in care institutions has remained at the same level as for the previous week. According to sequencing data, the share of spread for the omicron strain is at 100%, while the share for omicron BA.5.2 progeny BF.7 and BQ.1 sub-variants remains stable, accounting for 13% and 25% respectively of all sequenced samples.
As of Wednesday morning there were a total of 180 COVID-19 patients who were in hospital, of which 78 needed hospitalisation due to symptomatic COVID-19. The average number of patients over the past seven days who have been hospitalised due to symptomatic COVID-19 has increased, from 5.9 to 9.9. During the week a total of nine people died who were aged between 56-93, all of whom had serious co-morbidities.
When considering the latest increase in the incidence of COVID-19 amongst elderly people, we can expect a further increase in hospitalisations across the next few weeks.