COVID-19 (coronavirus)

About COVID-19

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

The virus is human-to-human transmissible, but it is not yet clear exactly how the infection takes place. Probably contamination occurs through droplets (coughing, sneezing) and through direct contact (hands), as with other corona viruses.

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. Serious symptoms are more common in the elderly and in persons with a chronic disorder. Elderly people and people with chronic conditions have a higher risk of serious symptoms and death. 

More information about COVID-19 on Wanda, including how to protect yourself,

How does ITM contribute?

  • Screening and follow-up of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
    ITM specialists have been supporting their colleagues at UZA.
  • Setting up an epidemiological database.
    ITM helped the reference laboratory of the KU Leuven in setting up the database.
  • Investigating the virus in ITM's high security labs.
    Among other things, ITM scientists are conducting research into new diagnostics.
  • Preparing to support offer in Africa.
    If the need arises, ITM can offer support to African countries with a weak public health systems.
  • Answer questions from concerned travellers.
    ITM’s travel clinic is monitoring the situation closely and informs Belgian travellers via the travel medicine website, Wanda.