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Vaccine ; 39(38): 5376-5384, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340875


PURPOSE: In Estonia, during the first wave of COVID-19 total number of cases confirmed by PCR was 13.3/10,000, similar in most regions, including capital Tallinn, but in the hotspot of Estonian epidemic, an island Saaremaa, the cumulative incidence was 166.1/10,000. We aimed to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in these two regions, symptoms associated with infection and factors associated with antibody concentrations. METHODS: Participants were selected using stratified (formed by age decades) random sampling and recruited by general practitioners. IgG or neutralizing antibodies were determined from sera by four assays. Symptoms associated with seropositivity were analyzed by multiple correspondence analysis, antibody concentrations by multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Total of 3608 individual were invited and 1960 recruited from May 8 to July 31, 2020. Seroprevalence was 1.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.5) and 6.3% (95% CI 5.0-7.9), infection fatality rate 0.1% (95% CI 0.0-0.2) and 1.3% (95% CI 0.4-2.1) in Tallinn and Saaremaa, respectively. Of seropositive subjects 19.2% (14/73) had acute respiratory illness. Fever, diarrhea and the absence of cough and runny nose were associated with seropositivity in individuals aged 50 or more years. IgG, but not neutralizing antibodies concentrations were higher if fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain or diarrhea was present, or hospitalization required. CONCLUSION: Similarly to other European countries the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Estonia was low even in the hotspot region Saaremaa suggesting that majority of population is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Focusing only on respiratory symptoms may delay accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Estonia/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies