Coronavirus arrived in NL 12 days earlier than first positive test: report
The coronavirus arrived in the Netherlands nearly two weeks before the Netherlands' first official patient - a man from Loon op Zand - tested positive for the virus on February 27, newspaper AD reports based on models from public health institute RIVM.
According to the newspaper, Covid-19 arrived in the Netherlands on February 15, and moved through the country unnoticed for 12 days. Healthcare workers always ask hospitalized patients when they first started showing symptoms. "And then you see that the first day of illness for the first Dutch patients was mid-February," RIVM spokesperson Harald Wychgel confirmed to the newspaper.
A 49-year-old woman from Altena in Noord-Brabant ended up in the intensive care unit of the hospital in Gorinchem on February 21, but she was only later tested for Covid-19, a test that came back positive. She told healthcare workers that she started having symptoms "weeks" earlier, according to AD. And a poll of hospital workers in Noord-Brabant showed that seven of the 86 infected employees started showing symptoms from mid-February.
According to Wychgel, these cases went unnoticed because the Netherlands was less alert to the virus. "And minor symptoms were probably not recognized as corona then either."