Jaap van Dissel, infectious disease expert at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), answered numerous questions about the new corona virus on response platform NUjij on Thursday. We list the most interesting questions and answers.
What is the likelihood of this virus coming to the Netherlands and what measures should we take?
Van Dissel: “We have no direct flights to Wuhan (Chinese city, ed.). There are three airports in Europe with direct connections. The chance of infection is greatest there. A traveler who returns from Wuhan to the Netherlands could fall ill We will take such an event into account. “
“If the coronavirus is diagnosed in someone in the Netherlands, he will be nursed in isolation. In addition, his contacts will be mapped and checked in the period that he was ill. If they are sick, they will also be isolated, thereby further spreading in the Netherlands. appearance.”
How contagious is the virus?
“The new coronavirus does not seem very contagious. More information will be announced in the coming period and this estimate can be made better.”
Which group of people are most at risk?
“Most of the fatalities were in old age and had underlying medical problems. It is too early to say that the virus is not deadly for ‘healthy’ people.”
How can I distinguish the symptoms of the corona virus from the normal flu?
“With flu you suffer from fever, muscle aches, fatigue, cough and sore throat. That is also the case with the corona virus. So you cannot distinguish yourself yet.”
Have people been cured of this virus?
“We don’t have specific drugs. Most people heal by themselves.”
Where does this virus come from and how is it transmitted?
“This type of virus occurs in wild animals and often bats. People involved in slaughtering and selling are the first and most intensively exposed. Usually this is done through physical contact or they breathe in the virus. spreading the air, but how easily that happens is still unknown. “
How did the virus get its name?
“If you look at the corona virus under an electron microscope, you will all see protrusions that look like a crown. Corona is the Latin name for crown.”
What about the controls at the airports?
“There are countries that check people on direct flights from Wuhan for fever. The Netherlands does not have direct flights. At the moment that is therefore not an appropriate measure for the Netherlands.”
Can the corona virus also be spread through mail and packages from China?
“Coronaviruses cannot survive well outside the body. Certainly not on cardboard, packaging material or other items. There is no reason to believe that this is different now.”
How sensible is it to wear a mask or a mask?
“It will help if the virus is transmitted by large drops. But often masks only work for a short time. It must then fit well along the nose.”
“With other types of spread, a mask works less well. Wearing masks helps to raise awareness of the problem. People then keep more distance. Washing hands also helps.”
Why does it take so long before there is a vaccine?
“Developing a vaccine and applying it to humans takes more than ten years. In exceptional cases this can be faster, but then it can take months or years. This is because the vaccine has to be tested, approved and produced.”
How well does quarantining cities work?
“The question is whether this happened on time to limit the spread outside the city. We know from the past that large-scale isolations are not very successful. You then have to isolate large-scale on time. In practice it means that you have a take a very drastic measure while still seeing few patients. “
What should I do if I have just returned from an infected area and have symptoms of the virus?
“If you come back from China and get complaints, you must report this immediately to the doctor if you have been in an infected area. After this, it will be investigated whether the corona virus is causing the symptoms.”
What should I do if I travel to China soon?
“You don’t have to take special measures when you go to China. There is no medicine or vaccine.”
The travel advice for China has been adjusted. Traveling to the Hubei province is now discouraged.
Read the entire Q&A with Van Dissel here.