New coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is the new coronavirus and where has it been reported?

The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China (December 2019). The disease then spread across the world. The official name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2. The official name of the disease is COVID-19. In practice, it happens that these names are used interchangeably. The ECDC and WHO issue daily updates on the number of cases worldwide. The Netherlands too is dealing with the extensive spread of the new coronavirus.

The Dutch government announced measures to prevent infection. An overview of the latest Dutch measures can be found on the website of the Dutch government.

What are the symptoms of this virus?

The symptoms and characteristics that often give an indication of a coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

How to prevent infection with COVID-19?

The coronavirus is found in the nose and throat and spreads through small droplets expelled when coughing and sneezing. You are advised to cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow and to use paper tissues. This will reduce the chances of infecting others. The droplets can also end up on objects in the patient’s surroundings. The virus cannot survive there for long, but if “fresh” droplets end up on your hands and you then touch your face (mouth, nose, eyes), you could become infected. For this reason, it is important to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. We also advise if it’s not necessary to avoid physical contact with others and not to shake hands with anyone.

What preventive measures do we advice travelers and expats?

The virus cannot survive easily outside the body and can be killed easily with common detergents and cleaning products. Follow the standard hygiene procedures, such as washing hands regularly. In many countries and during flight mouthmasks are mandatory. You can find current travel advisories on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (in Dutch). Always check the national guidelines of the country of your destination, they change continuously and vary per country.

Travel Risk Management

KLM Health Services supports companies to implement their Duty of Care in the field of travel and health. This is also called Travel Risk Management. We ensure that travelers and expats stay healthy, safe and fit. Interested in the opportunities of Travel Risk Management for your organization? Please call or send an email for more information to Danny van Altena, Health & Travel consultant at KLM Health Services.