Increase in coronavirus levels in waste water observed in Estonia

  • 2022-01-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The results of the waste water monitoring survey conducted by the Health Board show that the amounts of the coronavirus in waste water have increased significantly in Estonia with nearly 75 percent of the samples collected having reached red, and only a few samples remaining in green.

Merli Joemaa, adviser at the environmental health department of the Health Board, said the results show a rise in infections after the holidays. 

"The last few weeks have brought new records of infections in other parts of the world, and in Estonia, too, infections are on an upward trend," Joemaa said, adding that virus levels in waste water are high almost everywhere in Estonia.

The Health Board took over the coronavirus waste water monitoring survey from the University of Tartu from the beginning of 2022. The aim of the University of Tartu was to develop a SARS-CoV-2 waste water monitoring system and method. The developed method was handed over to the Health Board and the samples are analyzed at the Health Board's infectious diseases laboratory.

Instead of 60 samples taken for the study previously, an average of 34 samples are taken per week now. The samples are collected by the Estonian Environmental Research Center.