Health France confirms 2 cases of virus from China, first...

France confirms 2 cases of virus from China, first in Europe

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A staff member checks the temperature of a guest entering the casino of the New Orient Landmark hotel in Macau on January 22, 2020, after the former Portuguese colony reported his first case of the new SARS-like virus that originated in Wuhan in China.

Anthony Wallace | fake images

France confirmed on Friday its first two cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, with one patient hospitalized in Paris and the other in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.

Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said in a press conference that these were the first two confirmed cases in Europe and that more cases are likely to occur in France.

Earlier, the SOS Medecins charity said it had treated a patient of Chinese origin who had symptoms of fever and had been in contact with people from Wuhan Province in China, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

Buzyn said this patient was 48 years old and had returned two days ago from a trip to China that included a stop in Wuhan.

“They put him in an isolated room to avoid any contact with the outside world. It’s fine,” he said.

Buzyn said he still had no information about the second case, in Paris, that had just been confirmed.

The newly discovered virus has killed 26 people and infected more than 800. Most cases and all deaths so far have been in China, where officials have imposed severe restrictions on travel and public gatherings.

The virus has created the alarm, but there are still many unknowns surrounding it, how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads among people. It can cause pneumonia, which has been fatal in some cases.

The World Health Organization said Thursday that the virus is an “emergency in China”, but failed to declare it a global health emergency.

Health officials are trying to contain the rapidly spreading disease without unnecessarily scaring world trade. WHO doctors said they needed more data before declaring a global emergency, but the virus is now spreading through close human contact and in healthcare settings, they said.

Buzyn said that the official advice for those who suspect they might have contracted the virus was not to go to the hospital, to avoid spreading it, but to call a special number where they would be told what to do.

The minister said he planned to hold daily press conferences on the subject.

The flu-like coronavirus, first identified on December 31, has killed at least 26 people in China and infected more than 900 worldwide.

US health officials UU. They said Friday that they diagnosed a second patient with the Chinese coronavirus, a Chicago woman who returned from Wuhan with the infection, and that they are monitoring dozens of other possible cases here.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that generally infect animals, but sometimes they can evolve and spread to humans. Symptoms in humans include fever, cough and shortness of breath, which can progress to pneumonia.

CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.

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