Novel Coronavirus

In April 2012 a novel Coronavirus is identified in humans. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to causes illness in humans and animals. In humans these viruses can cause illness ranging from the common cold to severe infections of the respiratory tract.


The current virus is different from the coronavirus that caused SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003.

In confirmed cases of illness in humans, common symptoms have been acute, serious respiratory illness with fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. Based on current clinical experience, the infection generally presents as pneumonia.



Cases have been confirmed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and France.



Investigators are trying to find out the source of the virus and how it spreads.

Most probable it will be transmitted by respiratory droplets (droplet spread) produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her mouth, nose, or eye(s).

Possibly the virus might spread more broadly through the air (airborne spread) or by other ways that are not now known.

Cases occurring in the same family raises the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission. Alternatively, it is possible that the infected family members were exposed to the same source of infection, for example, in a household or workplace.


What to do?

Since it is not exactly known how people become infected with this virus, it would be prudent and help prevent the acquisition of any respiratory illness to avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone who shows symptoms of illness (coughing and sneezing), and to maintain good hand hygiene.

  • Wash your hands often.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups, with people who are sick.
  • See a doctor if you become sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath during or after travel to countries with confirmed cases.

There is no recommendation against any travel at this time.

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Tuesday 8:45 - 16:30
Wednesday 8:45 - 16:30
Thursday 8:45 - 16:30
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Zimmermanweg 7
3015 CP Rotterdam
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(Next to main entrance Erasmus MC)

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