connect, grow & thrive.

The coronavirus in Switzerland

Switzerland has had its first confirmed case of someone infected with the coronavirus.

A 70 year old man living in the Tessin has been infected after going to a meeting near Milan 10 days ago. A further 70 cases are waiting for the test results and are currently being quarantined in their homes. Seeing how the virus has spread across the globe this comes as no surprise and certainly isn‘t a reason to panic.

Here we answer the most frequent questions.

Are you at risk? 

The spread is still controlled i.e. people who have travelled to the main infected areas (China, South Korea, Italy and Iran) are at the greatest risk. 
Only a small segment of the population is truly at risk of becoming seriously ill and that is the over 60s and those with weakened immune systems. 

What are the symptoms?

A dry cough, a high fever, tiredness, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing.
In more severe cases this can lead to respiratory and/or kidney failure. 

What should you do?

If you experience these symptoms and have been to one of the affected areas then you should stay at home and call your doctor (or the Swiss helpline: 058 463 00 00 from 8.00 to 18.00).

The government is calling for people to wash their hands regularly, sneeze into their elbows instead of their hands and if you have symptoms self-isolate.

Masks are not very effictive as droplets can still travel through them.

Currently the virus is only a medium risk for the population (according to the government) and no special measures are being taken, but this could change.

In conclusion this isn’t a pandemic (yet) so the best we can do is to wash our hands and sneeze in elbow cracks and hope for the best.

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