The coronavirus, responsible for 41 deaths in China according to a last provisional assessment, arrived in France. Three patients are affected, in Bordeaux and Paris.
Three cases of the new Chinese coronavirus were “confirmed” in France, on patients hospitalized in Paris and Bordeaux, announced Friday 25th January 2020 in the evening the French health authorities, stressing that these were the “first European cases”.
The three hospitalised patients, at least two of whom had travelled to China, was placed in segregation.
Circumscribe the virus “as quickly as possible”
“We are in the process of telling the story of these positive patients so as to get in touch with the people they have met,” explained Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn, announcing the first two cases during a briefing. press, noting that the incubation period was probably “around 7 days, between 2 and 12 days”.
The third, “a close relative of one of the cases, who was under investigation, has just been confirmed,” the ministry said later that evening.
“Today we have the first European cases, probably because we developed the test very quickly and are able to identify them.”
“You have to treat an epidemic like you treat a fire, quickly locate the source” and “circumscribe it as quickly as possible”, she said again.
Avoid spreading the virus
People with whom coronavirus positive patients have been in contact must “take their temperature several times a day, contact centre 15 in case of symptoms and stay at home for the moment to avoid any further contact which would promote the spread of virus, “insisted the minister, calling not to go to the emergency room if symptoms arise.
The first patient, aged 48, returned to France on January 22nd after “a few days” in China where he notably “passed through Wuhan”, and was hospitalized on Thursday in Bordeaux, said Ms Buzyn. “He’s fine,” she said.
The patient is taken care of at the Pellegrin University Hospital “in an isolated room by specialized medical teams whose competence in infectious diseases is internationally recognized”, the hospital centre said in a press release to AFP, specifying that it “continues its normal functioning ”without disruption for“ patient reception ”.
“The health professionals” of the service “follow the protection protocols in force by wearing (…) gloves, mask and suitable clothing”, she underlined.
Coronavirus chinois: Agnès Buzyn déclare que deux cas ont été confirmés en France pic.twitter.com/SkOtowOiW9
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) January 24, 2020
In Bordeaux, “absolute emergency” protocol
The patient, a Bordeaux native of China, who had presented Thursday to SOS-Doctors with cough and fever, was treated according to an “absolute emergency” protocol, with confinement, wearing masks and calling 15 before his transfer to the hospital, told AFP the spokesperson for SOS Doctors Bordeaux, Dr Karl Moliexe.
“Because of our operation, by appointment, he met a few people in the waiting room, less than 10 people and kept himself away. The risk for other patients is almost zero, ”he said.
According to the doctor, the patient from Wuhan had been in France for “at most 24 hours” and had transited through the Netherlands.
The minister, who indicated that she had information on the second positive case just before the press point, was unable to give details of the patient, indicating however that he had gone to China and that he was hospitalized at Bichat hospital in Paris.
Unable to close borders
Buzyn noted that it was not possible to control the “multiple routes” to return from China:
We can clearly see the difficulty in closing the borders in a world like ours, it is in reality not possible.
“For travellers returning from China, it is important to keep an eye on yourself, and at the slightest sign of breathing or if you have a fever, you should not go to the emergency room, you must call centre 15 which picks up the patient”, she insisted.
China has stepped up efforts to contain the spread of a new killer virus with the confinement of more than 40 million people.
The official report of the disease caused by this coronavirus appeared in December on a market of Wuhan, a city of the centre of China, worsened still Friday, with 41 deaths according to a last provisional assessment. The World Health Organization has for its part renounce declaring a state of international emergency.
— Inserm (@Inserm) January 23, 2020