Significant decrease in infections and increase in antibody protection

The study on the prevalence of coronavirus reveals that the number of infectious adults is several times smaller and the number of adults with antibodies against coronavirus has increased by a half compared to a month ago. Slightly more than half of the people with anti-virus antibodies have achieved protection through vaccination.

In the course of the study stage that took place 8–19 April, 2,624 randomly selected adults were tested for coronavirus. 2,531 of them also gave a blood test to determine the level of antibodies. The analysis showed that 54 people (2.3%) tested positive for the coronavirus, 14 of them were infectious and the remaining 40 had recovered from the disease. Consequently, the percentage of potentially infectious adults in the population is 0.6%, which means that the coronavirus infection may be transferred by one adult person in 180, and the average number of infectious adults in Estonia is 5,900, which is more than four times fewer than last month. The head of the study, Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Tartu Ruth Kalda expressed her satisfaction that the number of infected persons has fallen in all age groups.

The antibody study showed that one adult in three has developed the antibodies (36%), and more than half of them (55%) have acquired the antibodies through vaccination. “The percentage of people with antibodies is particularly high among people aged over 65 (58%), but it is rapidly growing in the 40–65 age group as well. This allows to hope that also the workload of hospitals will soon be reduced,” Kalda explained.

The behavioural study showed in parallel with the decreased number of the infected, also a decline in the number of close contacts. The recently ended stage of the study revealed that one adult in 17 has had a contact or close contact with a coronavirus carrier (in the study stage in March, one grown-up person in ten had had a contact). Compared to March, the number of people who try to avoid physical contact and stay home has decreased. At the same time, there are more people who would like to be vaccinated if possible.

“Although our message after this study stage is encouraging, we still have to admit that we are just halfway towards reaching a safe immunisation level in the society. The spread of the virus is slowing down but to ensure that the decline continues and we could meet the summer with lower infection rates, like last year, we still have to limit our contacts for some time, keeping safe distance with others and avoiding large indoor gatherings,” said Kalda.

The monitoring study on the prevalence of coronavirus is conducted by a broad-based research team of the University of Tartu in cooperation with Synlab Estonia, Medicum and Kantar Emor.

For more information about the study, see the University of Tartu web page.

Further information: Ruth Kalda, Head of Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health, Professor of Family Medicine, University of Tartu, +372 5698 5599,