Epidemiology and Clinical Course of First Wave Coronavirus Disease Cases: Faroe Islands

Marnar Fríðheim Kristiansen, Bodil H. Heimustovu, Sanna á Borg, Tróndur H. Mohr, Hannis Gislason, Lars Fodgaard Moller, Debes Hammershaimb Christiansen, Bjarni á Steig, Maria Skaalum Petersen, Marin Strom, Shahin Gaini

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The Faroe Islands was one of the first countries in the Western Hemisphere to eliminate coronavirus disease (COVID-19). During the first epidemic wave in the country, 187 cases were reported between March 3 and April 22, 2020. Large-scale testing and thorough contact tracing were implemented early on, along with lockdown measures. Transmission chains were mapped through patient history and knowledge of contact with prior cases. The most common reported COVID-19 symptoms were fever, headache, and cough, but 11.2% of cases were asymptomatic. Among 187 cases, 8 patients were admitted to hospitals but none were admitted to intensive care units and no deaths occurred. Superspreading was evident during the epidemic because most secondary cases were attributed to just 3 infectors. Even with the high incidence rate in early March, the Faroe Islands successfully eliminated the first wave of COVID-19 through the early use of contact tracing, quarantine, social distancing, and large-scale testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-758
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • Faroe Islands


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