In Lapland, it is being monitored with concern whether viral mutations are also coming to the north with ski holidaymakers from the south.
Coronavirus The share of more contagious variants in all infections in Finland is growing, but the shares are still mostly small.
The more contagious British variant of the coronavirus has spread very rapidly in the metropolitan area. It has already taken clear dominance in the metropolitan area. Based on the results obtained on Monday, there are three out of four positive samples from the British variant in the metropolitan area.
“Preliminary findings suggest that variant proportions could be [koko maan tasolla] little growth, but overall they are very small and not yet significant, ”says a specialist from the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) Niina Ikonen.
However, he emphasizes that currently only part of all positive results in Finland are sequenced. For this reason, an accurate estimate of the share of virus variants across the country cannot yet be said.
All positive corona samples are screened in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (Hus) to find transformations.
Currently, other hospital districts are sending some of their positive samples for sequencing to THL. According to Ikonen, THL has so far sequenced 802 samples from outside the Hus region. Of these, 13 percent have proven to be a British variant of the coronavirus.
In addition Ikonen reminds that the results of the sequences come retrospectively.
“First the sample is found to be positive, then it is delivered to us, and then the sequence information goes a couple of weeks. So we are on the trail for a couple of weeks. ”
According to Ikonen, over the past couple of weeks, THL has sought to send samples for sequencing more randomly and not to take samples from a single chain of infection.
“This will make it possible to verify the actual prevalence of the variant in the population.”
From Southwest Finland has found 33 cases of virus transformation to date, one of which has been a South African variant, the rest British variants.
“Variants have been found, but not yet in large numbers,” says Turku University Chief Physician of Molecular Microbiology and Virology at Tyks Tytti Vuorinen.
“It is expected that the number of cases here will also increase. It is likely that there will be domestic infections and also gifts from abroad. ”
Until now, for example, clusters from abroad or large clusters have been tested in Southwest Finland, but from the beginning of March, Tyks will start testing virus variants from all samples. In the beginning, the British variant can be identified in Tyks, later others as well.
Until now, THL has studied the samples in Helsinki. It has taken a couple of weeks to get results.
In the future, the tests will be performed in Turku. First, a PCR test identifying the British variant is also performed in connection with the corona screening test. Doubts about the variant are obtained immediately in connection with the screening test result. The possible variants are then sequenced, i.e. the genetic code of the virus is read. The result is obtained in about 3-7 days.
Tampere Chief Physician of the Infection Unit of the University Hospital Jaana Syrjänen said at a press conference of the Pirkanmaa Regional Pandemic Control Group on Tuesday that 25 variant cases have been found in the region. One of them is from Brazil, five from South Africa and 19 from Britain.
According to Syrjänen, the Fimlab laboratory sends a sample of 80 samples to THL each week for sequencing. In addition, samples are submitted to THL if there is an abnormal cluster of infection in Pirkanmaa or if the trace reveals that the infection originated from abroad.
According to Syrjänen, further infections related to the variants have been detected moderately. Infections have been reported in the family and friends circle, and in some families everyone has become infected, while in some cases further infections have been spared.
“From our point of view, the situation is more reminiscent of the behavior of the so-called wild virus,” Syrjänen said.
Wild virus refers to the traditional form of coronavirus.
South Karelia the social and health district (Eksote) announced on Tuesday night that the infection situation in the area has changed rapidly. Like Hus, the proportion of positive tests for viral variants in Exote is high.
“Incidence rates are rising sharply here, as is the proportion of positive samples out of all coronavirus samples taken. In addition, 75% of positive samples are virus variants. However, the infections are targeted at a limited community here, and their tracing has been effective as well as a good percentage, ”says Exote’s chief physician. Sami Raasakka in the bulletin.
Lapin A total of nine cases of viral transformation in the UK have been reported in the hospital district to date: seven to a Swedish battery factory one case from France and one from Dubai.
In Lapland, the variant has been tested from foreign and rapidly spreading chains, but now random samples have also been taken there. So far, the virus variant has not been found to have spread.
“But now that random samples are being taken, we can only properly see in which direction the situation has developed. The situation in the Lapland hospital district has deteriorated within two weeks. Until then, we have been very calm and steady, ”says the hospital district infection chief physician. Markku Broas.
During the week, 52 positive samples were found in Lapland, of which 30 per cent were from locals, mainly tourists.
In Lapland, the situation is now being closely monitored, as ski holidaymakers in Southern Finland have filled especially the Lapland ski resorts. Over the weekend, Rovaniemi will also have a World Rally Championship, which will bring people to Lapland from abroad as well.
“After all, it’s a big risk if we get a lot of people from an area where a significant portion is viral transformation. Let’s talk about tens of thousands. There are always infections. If further infections occur, it is clear that the risk of the variant spreading is high, ”says Broas.
“Lapland is, in a way, a melting pot. We have such a huge number of tourists. ”
Anti-Swedish at the border in the West Bank, there is currently preliminary information on one variant case. Case sequencing is still ongoing.
Chief Medical Officer of the Hospital District Jyri T. Taskilaa to consider how the variant situation of the mountain ski resorts will change during the ski holidays.
In addition, Taskila is concerned about the situation in Luleå, more than a hundred kilometers from the border, where infections have increased 2.5-fold in just over a week. If it is a variant, according to Taskila, “it is only a matter of time before it becomes a challenge in our region as well”.