The return of coronavirus? Number of COVID-19 particles in Dutch sewage highest since May

Thought COVID-19 was gone for good? Think again. Traces of the virus have been detected in Dutch sewage water (and it’s the highest amount since May), more people are being hospitalized, and a new variant is upon us.

Despite these alarming new developments, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) assures us that the odds of getting corona are only “rising from very, very low to slightly less, very, very low”, RTL Nieuws reports.

Why now?

So why has the old ‘rona decided to come back to bite us at this moment? The answer is not entirely known.

Susan van den Hof of the RIVM suspects the months of vacationing that happened this summer contributed to the spread of the disease.

READ MORE | Now the Dutch government is advised to listen to… corona sceptics?!

Here’s a gross but possibly reassuring fact: the amount of COVID particles in sewage is increasing at a faster rate than the hospital cases.

This means that even if they technically have the virus, many (mainly vaccinated) people have manageable symptoms that don’t require urgent care, and therefore won’t put a strain on the healthcare system. Hoera! 🌈

New variant in town

A new COVID variant has also been making its rounds lately — and it’s the problem that has no name. Wait, actually, it does. They’re calling it EG.5, and apparently, it’s a variation of the common XBB strain.

Luckily, this new subvariant doesn’t appear to make people more ill than other corona types.

Also, when people get the updated vaccination next autumn, they will be protected against XBB and all its subvariants (EG.5 too).

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, and try not to drink sewage water if you can help it. 😬

Are you worried about the emergence of a new COVID-19 strain? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image:Canva
Ellen Ranebo
Ellen Ranebo
As someone half Swedish and half Irish who has lived in the Netherlands, the UK, and attended an American School, Ellen is a cocktail of various nationalities. Having had her fair share of bike accidents, near-death experiences involving canals, and miscommunications while living here (Swedish and Dutch have deceptively similar words with very different meanings), she hopes to have (and document) plenty more in future.

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