French Health Minister Confirms First Two Cases of Coronavirus

Daniel Fowler
January 25, 2020

"Our concern for transmission before symptoms developed is low", she says.

China has widened its travel restrictions in Hubei province - the centre of the coronavirus outbreak - as the death toll climbed to 26.

The province borders Russian Federation and is more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) from Wuhan.

French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said one of the French cases, a 48-year-old man of Chinese origin who had been visiting Wuhan, had been hospitalised in Bordeaux. Officials say there are now around 830 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 26 people have died from the respiratory illness.

It has now been reported nationwide and in a dozen other countries, with France on Friday saying three cases had been confirmed there - the first known infections in Europe.

The woman in her 60s returned from China on January 13 without showing any signs of illness, but a few days later she called her doctor to report feeling sick.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it had 63 patients under investigation, with two confirmed cases, both in people who had travelled to Wuhan.

Right now, there is now vaccine for the virus. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.

Some experts believe the virus is not as risky as the one that caused the 2002-03 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which also began in China and killed almost 800 people, or the one that caused Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has killed more than 700 people since 2012.

It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is, or even whether it is as risky as the ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the US alone.

The primary symptoms of coronavirus are high fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. "And they will recover".

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Hospitals in Wuhan grappled with a flood of patients and a lack of supplies. Videos circulating online showed throngs of frantic people in masks lined up for examinations, and some complained that family members had been turned away at hospitals that were at capacity. Other scientists doubt the finding, saying coronaviruses are typically found in mammals, not reptiles.

Wuhan officials said they are rapidly constructing a new 1,000-bed hospital to deal with the crisis, to be completed February 3. It will be modeled on a SARS hospital that was built in Beijing in just six days during the 2003 SARS outbreak.

The total number of confirmed cases in China now stands at 1,287, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Saturday.

"We see how hard it is in today's world to close the frontiers". A child on an incoming flight prompted a scare at Sydney International airport last night, but Sydney Children's Hospital says the child was assessed and then released.

Two cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S - one north of Seattle and another in Chicago.

The CDC says that this person didn't leave their home very often between the day they returned and the day they were diagnosed, meaning the public wasn't exposed to the virus in any significant way.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk to the USA public remains low but that it's likely more cases will be diagnosed in the coming days, as the virus appears to have a two-week incubation period.

Health officials fear the transmission rate could accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and overseas during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which began on Saturday. According to CNN, McDonald's temporarily closed down restaurants in five cities in China beginning Friday.

Lockdowns have now been ordered for 10 cities, affecting 30 million people, CNN reported today.

China today reported a surge in newly confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases, pushing the outbreak total past 900 and almost doubling the number of severely ill people.

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