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Coronavirus in Switzerland – what you need to know

The first two cases of people in Switzerland potentially infected with the coronavirus has been reported and the patients are currently in the Triemli hospital in Zürich. They were in China and are showing symptoms similar to those of the virus, which is currently spreading across the globe. Blood tests are being carried out to confirm whether they are infected or not.

Should you be worried? Unless you have returned from China or were in contact with people who just returned from there and have flu like symptoms then, no so says the World Health Organisation. However the Coronavirus is contagious even in its incubation phase so it is not always clear whether someone is a carrier or not.

If you work in the tourism industry and come in contact with Chinese tourists and feel unwell then it probably is a good idea to go see a doctor.

The UN agency advises people to:

  • Frequently wash their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap
  • Cover their mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough
  • Seek early medical help if they have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share their travel history with healthcare providers
  • Avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods

Bear in mind that there is a greater chance of you catching the flu which has reached epidemic level in central Switzerland then the coronavirus.

You can read our post on which medicine to take to treat bad colds and the flu here.

If you do need to get medical attention but do not yet have a doctor then you can go to the MedCentre in the train station.

Stay healthy!

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.