Communicable diseases, epidemics, poisonings


Communicable diseases and poisonings are the main risks that may grow into an emergency situation in the area of health. Upon the conjunction of certain adverse conditions, the extensive spread of communicable diseases may cause an epidemic emergency, while the simultaneous poisoning of many people may also lead to an emergency situation.

A communicable disease is a disease of humans, animals or birds, which is caused by disease-causing or pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa, prions, rickettsia, parasitic fungi, helminths, ectoparasites) that spread from an infected person, animal or bird to a healthy receptive person.

A communicable disease is the result of the mutual interaction of the organism of the infected person and the pathogenic microorganism, i.e. the infection process.

In the case of an epidemic, a communicable disease spreading from human to human reaches a certain region and starts to excessively spread and infection control measures have to be applied to stop the disease.

The simultaneous poisoning of many people is possible upon the consumption of a widely available product that contains a poisonous substance. An extensive poisoning may occur primarily upon the consumption of illegal products, including contraband alcohol, narcotics or illegal medicinal drugs.

The Health Board has presented the results of risk analyses also via the media.

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Communicable diseases and epidemics

In order to prevent the occurrence of an epidemic and cope during an epidemic, act as follows:

  • Avoid travelling to the region where the disease is spreading, i.e. the high-risk region;
  • Follow the information published by the Health Board about the manner of transmission of the virus and the infection prevention measures;
  • Always comply with hygiene requirements and wash your hands properly;
  • When symptoms appear, stay at home and call your family physician or, in the case of a more severe health problem, call the emergency number 112;
  • Avoid visiting the A&E departments of hospitals for no reason, as close contacts facilitate the spread of communicable diseases;
  • Make sure you have a sufficient supply of medical products at home – chemists’ work and supply may be disrupted during an epidemic.

For more information, visit the homepage of the Health Board at

See what you should know about wearing a mask:


In Estonia, the Poisoning Information Centre of the Health Board organises the prevention of poisonings, and in the case of poisoning or suspected poisoning you can phone the poisoning information line 16662 for advice round the clock. Information about poisoning risks and the prevention thereof as well as recommendations for acting in the case of poisoning are available on the webpage of the Poisoning Information Centre.