Symptoms, suspected infection and monitoring health

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  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19: by vaccinating against the coronavirus we can more back towards the regular order of life. More information on where and how to get vaccinated can be found at the vaktsineeri.ee web page and from the state helpline 1247.

  • Wash your hands: hands should be washed with soap under warm running water, use hand disinfectant, if necessary.

  • Move in a dispersed manner: keep a distance with other people when in crowded indoor spaces. Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing. By standing too close to a symptomatic person you can get infected as well.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth: if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands, there is a chance that the virus will be transmitted to you.

  • Find help early: if you have a fever, cough or difficulties breathing, find help early. Monitor your health and stay home. Call your family doctor or to the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220.

  • Follow respiratory hygiene: if you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a single use tissue. Throw it into the bin immediately after, and then clean your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (the inside of your elbow), but do not use your bare hand.

  • Wear a mask: it is recommended to wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces and in public transport, especially for risk groups. A preference is given to a medical mask or a mask equated to that (e.g. an FFP1-3 mask or a N95 respirator) which effectively stops the coronavirus from spreading.

Last updated: 05.04.2022 14:38

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If you are COVID-19 positive or suspect that you have been infected, stay home if you have any kind of symptoms. Avoid contact with other people, follow hand and respiratory hygiene. If at all possible, have all essentials delivered to you at home contact free. If possible, do a coronavirus test.

If you suspect that you have become ill:

  • Contact your family doctor. The family doctor will evaluate the need for testing with a referral, give medical advice and will also start a certificate of incapacity for work or a certificate for care leave (the so-called certificate for sick leave). If you are unable to contact your family doctor, call the Family Doctor's Advice Line 1220 (+372 634 66 30). The calls are answered by medical professionals 24/7, advice is given in Estonian and Russian (advice in English every day from 15.00 to 17.00).

Foreigners and people who do not have health insurance have to contact the nearest family health centre if they become symptomatic. If there is cause to suspect an upper respiratory virus (fever, dry cough, difficulties breathing), the patients are served regardless of whether they belong to the family doctor's list or not.

Testing

  • Free testing is available for the elderly (age 60+) and people who are in a risk group to their medical condition (e.g. Parkinson's disease, a stroke within the past year, diabetes, chronic bronchitis, asthma, obesity, sleep apnoea etc.). See more: www.terviseamet.ee/en/testing-virus.

  • If the family doctor decides that testing is necessary, you will be given a digital referral letter. Make sure that your family doctor has your correct phone number so that the testing centre could contact you.

  • If you are not in a risk group neither due to your age nor due to a medical condition, you can do a rapid test if you suspect having the coronavirus. If you wish to record a positive test result in the health information system, contact your family doctor.

  • If you need an EU COVID recovery certificate that has a QR code, you can go to have a paid test at a service provider suitable to you: koroonatestimine.ee.

  • Booking an appointment for testing is necessary both for a free and a paid test. There are different options for booking an appointment:

    • With a referral:

    • SMS: an adult (age 18+) testing subject will receive a text message to the phone number provided on the referral letter, containing a link to the e-booking system where he can book an appointment for himself. Important: if the referral letter does not have a correct phone number, it is not possible to send the text message.

    • A call: those who do not use the e-booking system or who cannot receive a text message for technical reasons will receive a call from the testing call centre in the order of the referral letters coming in within one day (the calls are made from Monday to Saturday). If the call centre has not called within 48 hours, we recommend contacting your family doctor to check that the phone number on the referral letter is correct and the referral letter has been forwarded. If the phone number on the referral letter is correct, contact the testing call centre directly (phone +372 646 4848, open on work days 8-19, on weekends 10-18).

    • Directly in the online system: at veebiregistratuur.ee you can choose the region, testing location and time suitable to you. In order to book a test, you need to log in with an ID card, Mobile ID or Smart ID. It is also possible to book an appointment for another person online -- for that you have to know the personal identification code of the person giving the sample.

    • Paid testing:

    • Find a testing location suitable to you: koroonatestimine.ee/en/for-patients/paid-testing/

  • Go to testing on time and make sure to take an identity document with you -- you can give a nasopharyngeal sample only on the basis of a digital referral and an identification document. You should go to testing alone. Testing takes place on weekends and public holidays as well. More information about testing can be found on the web page of the Health Board.

  • After giving the sample, stay home and wait for the results. The results will reach the Patient Portal digilugu.ee within 24-48 hours. In Estonia, starting from January, 2022, the sample given by people who have a SARS-CoV-2 referral letter is tested for SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and B (no differentiation), as well as RSV.

If you have COVID-19:

  • If your test result was positive, you have to remain in self-isolation at home. Follow the recommendations of the family doctor, you can also find advice on how to treat the coronavirus at home from the guidelines of the Health Board (in Estonian). If your health condition worsens suddenly, call 112.
  • Make sure to inform your close contacts. Close contacts must remain in self-isolation for 7 days if they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 (or more than a year has passed since the completion of the course of vaccinations) or recovered from the disease within the past six months. More specific instructions on how to determine close contacts can be found on the web page of the Health Board.
  • As an infected person you have to stay in self-isolation for at least ten days starting from developing symptoms. You have to remain in a 10-day isolation even if the symptoms disappear in a few days. This will help to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • Recovery is decided by a doctor -- generally you are declared healthy if you have not had a fever for at least 72 hours and acute symptoms of the virus have receded.

If the results of your corona test were positive but you have no symptoms:

  • Stay home. Avoid contacts with other people and follow hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • If no symptoms appear, the isolation ends after 10 days have passed since the positive test. The day of taking the test is considered Day 0. Isolation is ended by a doctor.
  • If symptoms appear during isolation, the isolation restarts from when the symptoms appeared and the patient is a symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive.

Last updated: 05.05.2022 15:11

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Currently there is no plan for a solution to prove recovery from COVID-19 with an antibodies test as there is no internationally unified position on the necessary level of antibodies. There is an agreement on the European Union level that a recovery certificate is issued only on the basis of a positive PCR test.

However, a doctor can consider a positive antibodies test as a confirmation of recovery, after which it is possible to vaccinate a person with one dose of the vaccine and then declare the course of vaccination completed (one dose out of one, 1/1). In that case, a person will receive a vaccination certificate to prove their infection risk status.

Last updated: 15.09.2021 11:29

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There is no evidence against or in favour of this as it would be very difficult to gather this evidence with scientific testing.

If this data is randomly collected from people who have had the disease, it would not be possible to make any direct conclusions based on it as there are so many different variables, e.g. where they got the virus from and how big was the amount of virus that they came into contact with; what strains were the people infected with; what are that person's own individual characteristics etc.

That is why the scientists presume that people who have had the disease (or have been vaccinated) do have the risk of transmitting the disease.

Read more: https://www.ut.ee/et/teadus/teadlaste-vastused-koroonakusimustele (in Estonian).

Last updated: 08.04.2021 16:07

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The symptoms of the coronavirus and their severity vary greatly. Some people are asymptomatic, some develop severe pneumonia, for people in a risk group the disease might end in death.

For most people infected with the coronavirus, the progression of the disease is mild and they heal.

The virus risk group includes the elderly and people with chronic diseases, who exhibit the severe forms of the disease more frequently.

Last updated: 01.10.2021 16:11

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A person is infectious up to 10 days after the first symptoms of the disease have appeared.

A person is declared healed if she has no fever for at least three days and symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (particularly a cough and a sore throat) have dissipated.

The decision about being healed and able to return to the society is made by the family doctor.

Last updated: 02.02.2021 09:29

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If a person gets infected with the COVID-19 disease after receiving the first or the second dose of the vaccine, he can be infectious for up to then days in most cases and has to stay in isolation.

Last updated: 10.03.2021 09:45

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Studies have shown that an infected person is infectious up to 10 days after he becomes symptomatic. So it is necessary to stay in isolation for at least 10 days.

A person is considered recovered and can exit isolation if

  • he has been without a fever for at least 72 hours and
  • the symptoms of an acute infection have receded.

The decision about recovery is made by a doctor.

No repeat test is done to patients who have had the SARS-CoV-2 infection and been declared recovered.

If a person has been hospitalised, getting declared recovered depends on his condition. Generally, hospitals recommend staying at home for another two weeks after being released from the hospital. This does not apply to persons who have light symptoms but have still been hospitalised for some reason.

The virus can be detected in a laboratory for even up to 37 days but the patient is not infectious anymore.

Staying in isolation for 10 days is necessary even if all the symptoms disappear in a few days. This helps to prevent the spread of the virus.

All instructions come from the family doctor or the treating physician both when recovering at home and in a hospital. The doctors' recommendations must be followed.

Last updated: 27.04.2021 12:54

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The results of a patient's SARS-CoV-2 PCR analysis can be positive for several weeks after suffering through the coronavirus. That is why it is not necessary to test recovered patients in order to end the quarantine.

Even though the patient is not infectious after recovery even if he gets a positive test result, he should apply for his family doctor's opinion before returning to regular life, including to work or school. The family doctor is a medical expert whose opinion and decision must be accepted. You can find out about the guidelines of the Estonian Society of Family Doctors to family doctors here.

In order to avoid the spread of the virus in a work environment, the employer has to evaluate the probability of the occurrence of a biological hazard and, if necessary, adopt measures that would help to prevent the risk. More information from the web page of the Labour Inspectorate: "Coronavirus as a biological hazard".

Last updated: 22.01.2021 10:45

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  • If an employee falls ill outside of work, they must stay at home.
  • If an employee falls ill at work, they must leave immediately.
  • A person who has fallen ill should contact their family doctor, who will decide on the diagnosis of COVID-19, the need for testing and the certificate of incapacity for work.
  • In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important that the affected employee informs the employer that the diagnosis of COVID-19 has been confirmed. The employer is informed in accordance with the agreement between the employee and the employer.
  • The employer, being informed of the employee's diagnosis of COVID-19, co-operates with the regional department of the Health Board in order to determine the employee's close contacts at work and provide guidelines for further work organisation.
  • Premises potentially contaminated with the virus must be closed and not used before being properly cleaned, disinfected and aired.
  • When cleaning rooms and surfaces, the recommendations of the Health Board for cleaning and disinfection (PDF) (in Estonian) must be followed.
  • If the diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed, people who were in close contact with the affected employee during the symptomatic period or up to two days before must be identified at the workplace.

Close contacts are determined by the regional department of the Health Board in co-operation with the employer.

  • Persons who have been in close contact with the infected person must closely monitor their health and stay in isolation for the next 7 days. Close contacts who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from COVID-19 within the past 180 days do not have to stay in self-isolation.
  • The rest of the employees can continue their daily work but should monitor their health more closely.
  • If the diagnosis of COVID-19 of an infected employee is not confirmed, other employees may continue to work, but must monitor their health for 10 days.

Last updated: 10.01.2022 01:37

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If this kind of a situation has occurred, the place to turn for help is the local municipality.

Last updated: 20.01.2021 15:49

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).