Netherlands: Coronavirus tracked to 12 days before first case
According to models from the RIVM, COVID-19 arrived in the Netherlands nearly two weeks before the country’s first official patient tested positive for the virus.
Coronavirus spreads to the Netherlands
The Netherlands’ first official patient, a man from Loon op Zand in North Brabant, tested positive for the virus on February 27. However, according to models from the RIVM, the virus had already entered the country and started spreading twelve days earlier, on February 15.
When patients are admitted to hospital with the virus, doctors always check when the patients’ symptoms started and when they first felt ill. Harald Wychgel, a spokesperson for the RIVM, said that from this information, “you see that the first day of illness of the first Dutch patients was mid-February.”
A woman from Altena in Brabant ended up in intensive care on February 21, but she was only tested for the virus later, which confirmed she was infected with COVID-19. She claimed to be suffering symptoms weeks before she was admitted to the hospital. A recent poll has shown that 7 out of 86 hospital staff also suffered from symptoms that began around mid-February.
Wychgel believes that the disease was able to spread unnoticed due to low awareness and high requirements for testing. “Minor complaints were probably not recognised as corona then either,” he said.