One of the greatest sources of health stress in the Netherlands at the moment still is Corona – and its unpredictable ways of manifesting itself.

What to do if you suspect you have Corona? The website www.thuisarts.nl is a good site to visit if you master (some of) the Dutch language. Here it is stated that, if you have a fever, a cough, trouble breathing, trouble smelling or tasting things, cold symptoms or fatigue, you should call 0800 1202 to make an appointment to have yourself tested. You can also do this online, on www.coronatest.nl, provided you have a DigiD. On this site, you select a location, a date and a time slot. The tests are free and done in drive-through facilities, but if you are unable to go there, your huisarts can also take the test. If you have a compromised immune system, are older than – say – 70, or have another serious illness, you are advised to call your huisarts (GP), your specialist or a huisartsenpost. If need be, call 1-1-2 (the emergency line). Do not spontaneously visit your huisarts; when you call them, they will decide if you need to be seen – if need be, at your home.

Always stay home while awaiting the outcome of the test. If you have symptoms, such as a fever or trouble breathing, and share a household with other people – they should also stay home until they have proven to be symptom-free for at least 24 hours. Anyone who has had Corona accompanied by symptoms, should be symptom-free for at least seven days (14, if they have a compromised immune system). If you are a-symptomatic, but tested positive, you are recommended to avoid other people for at least three days, however, other sources say 10 days – so be sure to consult with your doctor on this matter.

Strong medication is mostly only available if you are hospitalized; otherwise you are recommended to rest, drink two liters of fluids a day and take paracetamol – rather than NSAIDs, as these have more secondary effects. If you share a household with others, maintain your distance, wash your hands frequently, stick to your own room, ventilate the area you are in, regularly disinfect surface areas that you touch (doorknobs, light switches, faucets), and use separate towels.

For more (up-to-date) information, call 0800 1351, or visit www.nji.nl/en (of the Netherlands Youth Institute, for Corona and kids – in English), www.rijksoverheid.nl (in Dutch) or www.rivm.nl/en (in English).

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