Coronavirus in the Netherlands: should we be worried about COVID-19, more commonly know as coronavirus? Will it come to the Netherlands? How is the Netherlands preparing for coronavirus?
The new virus causes respiratory tract infections and can be transmitted from person to person. This basically means that people infected with it get viral pneumonia- which means that the regular antibiotics used to treat normal pneumonia will not work. Fighting the disease off depends on the victim’s immune system. However, mortality rates are quite low: 2-3 percent, according to the WHO.
The origins of coronavirus- will it come to the Netherlands?
The virus originated in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China, at a fish market where livestock were sold. The virus, like all coronaviruses, originated in livestock. At the end of December 2019, coronavirus became known to the world as China reported its first cases to the WHO. Now, over 80,000 people have been confirmed as infected with the disease, with the majority in China, but significant numbers in Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran, as well. There have been just over 2700 deaths. Cases are also popping up in other countries- this morning in the Netherlands it was originally reported that a German tourist with coronavirus had visited Limburg, but it seems he did so before he was infectious.
Coronavirus in the Netherlands: is it a pandemic?
COVID-19 is not yet a pandemic, according to the WHO, but it is a disease of international concern, and experts say it seems likely that it will develop into a pandemic in due course (a pandemic is an infectious disease that spreads uncontrollably worldwide). Realistically, we can expect coronavirus to probably reach the Netherlands soon.
Coronavirus in the Netherlands: mortality rates
According to Dutch virologist Ab Osterhaus in an interview with RTL Nieuws, we don’t need to be too afraid. Although there have been fatalities from the virus, they have only been in people who were already ill or otherwise weakened through age. And while people have been throwing around the idea that the virus has a high mortality rate, we have no way of knowing the true extent of the infection rates- most people will not report themselves ill.
How is the Netherlands preparing for coronavirus?
The Netherlands has measures in place to deal with infected individuals coming into the country. A special team has been formed at the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the public health service GGD, dedicated to dealing with an outbreak if one occurs, reports RTL Nieuws. You can read more about how the Netherlands is preparing for Covid-19 here.
— Tony De Jonker (@TonyDeJonker) January 21, 2020
Coronavirus in the Netherlands: will Dutchies finally wash their hands?
There are some pretty simple measures you can take to reduce the spread of coronavirus. First of all, be hygienic: wash your hands, sneeze and cough into a tissue or your sleeve… oh, and wash your hands again. Avoiding contact with livestock might also be a good idea, and not travelling to affected regions is very important. If you do think you might be infected, isolate yourself and contact your local health service. AND WASH YOUR HANDS.
The @WHO says hand-washing is single most important factor to prevent the spread of illness.
Unfortunately, research by @Gallup has found that many Europeans do not wash their hands after the toilet, with rates as low as 50% in Netherlands and 57% in Italyhttps://t.co/VSRncO50RW pic.twitter.com/pj2Um5NW6f
— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) February 26, 2020
Coronavirus in the Netherlands: racism and economic concerns
Coronavirus is having effects beyond illness, however. There have been increased incidents of racism against Asian people, including an attack on a Dutch-Chinese woman in the Netherlands. Moreover, the disease is affecting the global economy, and there are speculations that it could trigger a recession.
What are your thoughts on coronavirus? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 22 January 2020, but was updated with current information on 26 February 2020.
Feature image: Semevent/Pixabay.