News on the current coronavirus outbreak

Answer your questions and get recommendations

Are you unsure whether you may have been infected with the coronavirus and don’t know how you should respond? Complete the questionnaire to get an immediate recommendation about what to do in your situation according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) guidelines.

How we can help you

On behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), we are running the federal government’s official coronavirus hotline, which you can reach by calling
+41 58 463 00 00

Medical advice and treatment
If you are ill and need medical attention, our doctors are available to help you around the clock. The Medgate App allows you to book a consultation by phone or video.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Which symptoms occur when I get sick with the new coronavirus?

The most common symptoms are fever, cough and breathing difficulties. These symptoms can be of varying severity. Complications such as pneumonia are also possible. Some patients also have problems with their digestion or eyes (conjunctivitis). For most people the disease is mild. However, especially older or chronically ill people can become seriously ill.

How is the new coronavirus transmitted?

By close and prolonged contact: If you’re closer than two metres to a person who has con-tracted the illness for more than 15 minutes.

By droplet infection: If one person sneezes or coughs, the virus can be transported directly to the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth or eyes of other people.

Via your hands: Infectious droplets can get onto your hands from coughing and sneezing. Or you come into contact with a surface contaminated with the virus They can then get into your system if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes.

How can you protect yourself and others against infection with the new coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water several times a day or use a hand disinfectant.
  • If you have to cough or sneeze, hold a tissue in front of your mouth and nose. Then put it in a bin and wash your hands.
  • If you do not have a handkerchief, cough and sneeze in the crook of your arm.
  • Do not shake hands.
  • If possible, avoid contact with people who have breathing difficulties or a cough.
  • Keep a sufficient distance from other people - for example when standing in line or during sessions. In this way you will protect your elderly fellow citizens in particular, who could become seriously ill if they become infected with the new corona virus.
  • Avoid public transport.
  • Stay at home if you experience symptoms such as breathing difficulties, coughing and fever.
  • Only go to a doctor's practice or emergency ward after making an appointment by telephone.

There is currently no vaccine that protects against infection with the new coronavirus.

Who is particularly at risk?

People over the age of 65 and those who have one of these pre-existing conditions are particularly at risk of contracting the disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Chronic respiratory diseases
  • Diseases and therapies that weaken the immune system
  • Cancer

What is recommended for particularly vulnerable persons?

Particularly vulnerable persons are advised to avoid contact with other persons and to stay at home.

What should you do if you have symptoms such as fever and cough?

In case of symptoms (fever and/or dry cough sometimes accompanied by sore throat) you must stay at home so that you do not infect anyone. If your symptoms are mild and you do not belong to the particularly vulnerable population group (over 65 years of age or suffering from chronic illness), you do not need to see a doctor or hospital. In this case you can take care of yourself at home. Do not leave the house until 48 hours after you have no more symptoms.
If you belong to an at-risk population or are seriously ill, contact a doctor or health care institution by telephone. The doctors will decide whether a medical examination is necessary or whether it is sufficient to stay at home and look after yourself.

What should you do if you have had contact with someone who is known to be infected with coronavirus?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed as having the coronavirus (distance of less than 2 meters for more than 15 minutes), but who is not living in the same household as you, and with whom you have not had intimate relations: Monitor your condition.

If you don’t have any symptoms (high temperature and cough): Monitor your condition to see if you develop any symptoms.

If you have mild symptoms (high temperature and cough): Isolate yourself at home until you are free of symptoms. Wait a further 48 hours before going out in public.

If your symptoms get worse (fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) or you have underlying medical condition and are therefore at especially high risk: Call a doctor or healthcare institution. They will then decide if you need a medical consultation, or if it is enough just to stay at home in isolation.

If you live in the same household as someone who is infected, or with whom you have had intimate relations: Stay at home in quarantine for ten days. Monitor your condition to see if you develop any symptoms (high temperature and cough).

Why are the rules of hygiene and conduct so important?

The coronavirus is a new virus against which humans do not yet have an immune defence. It can lead to many infections and diseases. We must therefore slow down the propagation of the new coronavirus as much as possible.

Especially people with a higher risk of falling seriously ill must be protected. These are the over-65s and those with a pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, cancer and diseases and therapies that weaken the immune system.

If we all play by the rules, we can also better protect these people. In doing so, we also help to ensure that people with serious illnesses continue to be well treated in health facilities. This is because treatment rooms and respirators are limited in the intensive care units.

Should one wear a hygiene mask?

The FOPH does not recommend that healthy people wear hygiene masks (surgical masks, surgical masks). These do not effectively protect a healthy person from infection with viruses of the respiratory tract (self-protection). Wearing a mask can therefore create a false sense of security.

Hygiene masks are primarily intended to prevent a sick person from infecting other people (collective protection). The FOPH therefore recommends that persons with acute respiratory disease wear hygiene masks as soon as they cannot maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres from other persons (e.g. at home, in a doctor's practice, pharmacy or on public transport before/after a visit to the doctor).

Benefits of telemedicine

In the current situation, telemedicine is playing a key role in ensuring the provision of medical care.

  • Our doctors can treat you right at home via phone or video.
  • This reduces the risk of infection in waiting rooms and out in public.
  • The number of visits to doctors’ offices is reduced, which helps to keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.