France has declared its first confirmed cases of the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus, following a statement from the nation’s heath minister.
Speaking to French media, Agnes Buzyn said one case of the virus had been confirmed in Bordeaux while the second had been found near Paris – marking the first confirmed cases of the novel virus in Europe.
Shortly afterwards a third case, believed to be a family member of one of those to have already been announced, was confirmed in the country.
The minister, who said both of the initial cases had travelled to China, added that she expects more to emerge within the nation’s borders.
“We see how difficult it is in today’s world to close the frontiers. In reality, it’s not possible,” she said
The minister added that she believed the development of a rapid diagnostic test within France was one of the reasons the country had been the first in Europe to confirm a case.
“You have to treat an epidemic as you would a fire, that’s to say find the source very quickly,” she added.
She confirmed the Bordeaux patient is a 48-year-old Frenchman of Chinese origin, and was taken to hospital after presenting classic flu-like symptoms having passed through Wuhan
They were in contact with about 10 people before he was taken into care, the minister said. French authorities are seeking to contact them.
The second, who also travelled to China, is receiving treatment in a hospital in Paris – although little is known of the circumstances surrounding their infection.