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      Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski, Nele Alders

      COVID-19 (Corona virus disease-19) is caused by a corona virus, SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Respiratory Syndrome - Corona Virus-2).

      The virus is human-to-human transmissible. Infection occurs through the inhalation of small droplets of saliva from an infected person that are released during speaking, coughing or sneezing or through droplets of saliva on hands and objects. 

      Symptoms may occur two days to two weeks after the infection. The symptoms vary from mild flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia with fever, coughing and shortness of breath. In addition, gastrointestinal complaints and a loss of taste and smell can occur. Elderly peoplepregnant women and people with chronic conditions have a higher risk of complications.

      Risk areas

      The outbreak initially started in Wuhan, China but grew into a global pandemic. As of May 2023, WHO declared COVID-19 no longer as a global emergency but the virus still remains present around the world.

      Each country has specific guidelines. The latest rules for each country, eg. who still requires certain certificates, for entry or use in the country, can be found on the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs website under ‘travel advice’. 


      Basic hygiene

      Wash or disinfect your hands regularly.


      Ventilate places where multiple people are.

      Sick persons

      Stay away from sick people and make sure no one coughs or sneezes in your face.
      Avoid other people, wear a mouth mask and wash your hands when you have respiratory symptoms. 

      Mouth masks

      When there is an increase in COVID-19 infections, it can be useful to wear a mouth mask in places where it is difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. 


      Check the entry requirements for each country. Some countries still require a COVID certificate


      For certain populations such as 65+, the pregnant, people with weakened immunity or health care professionals, vaccination is strongly recommended.

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