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Mysterious virus in China: fear of global spread
A LENS – A woman from the city of Wuhan rejoiced on social networks for having managed to pass health control at the airport and to have entered French territory despite a fever. The Chinese Embassy in France was able to find this national and get in touch with her. French authorities are currently carrying out investigations.
– Claire Cambier
Already 17 dead and a risk of global spread. The coronavirus from China, a cousin of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), worries the world. Chinese authorities have confirmed that there are 580 cases, including 574 in China, but also one in the United States, one in South Korea, three in Thailand and one in Japan.
The virus has not yet entered French territory, but some fellow citizens are concerned about the arrival in Lyon of a Chinese woman from Wuhan, a city in central China, today presented as the epicenter of the epidemic and which was quarantined this Thursday, January 23.
“A Chinese woman (…) is currently in Lyon and she is surely infected with the virus”, worries a Net surfer. “The people just want to know if the Chinese woman who arrived in Lyon is treated in an isolated space (and potentially those who she may have contaminated)”, joined another on the social network Twitter. Who is this woman? Is the risk proven? LCI takes stock.
A message posted on a Chinese social network which raised many fears
Everything starts with a message on the Wechat network, weixin in Chinese, the equivalent of WhatsApp. A woman, Ms. Yan, explains that she managed to reach Lyon, via Paris, from the city of Wuhan with her friends, when she had a low fever and a cough, symptoms that can be caused by the coronavirus . To get out of control, she says she took antipyretics, medicines to lower the fever. “Fortunately, it was not checked individually,” said one of his friends in another post, publishing a photo of a restaurant chain in a Paris airport.
Ms. Yan says that she cheerfully restored herself upon arrival at a Michelin restaurant in Lyon, the city of French gastronomy, with photos.
An article by Weixin relayed the information: “The woman, in the company of travel friends, does not take the initiative to declare her condition and relies on medicines to lower the temperature in order to pass the control”. He stresses that the symptoms are not necessarily a sign of conoravirus contamination, but that this initiative remains risky.
The messages date from January 20. The quarantine of the city of Wuhan is effective since January 23, 10 am. Ms. Yan was therefore able to take a flight upstream. Like her, thousands of residents of this town have “fled” by taking the last available transport, train, plane, or even in their cars.
Local media also indicate that the expression “Escape From Wuhan “, to escape from Wuhan, has become one of the most searched keywords on the Weibo search engine.
Alerted by its fellow citizens living in France, the Chinese Embassy in France took the initiative to get in touch with Ms. Yan. “We phoned him last night (January 22, note), we are told. We asked him to quickly contact the 15th, because it is the recommendation of the French authorities” in case of suspicion. In a very calm tone, the embassy assures us to keep in touch with Ms. Yan and will keep informed of the development of the situation.
“Travelers returning from China, regardless of their route, receive information on what to do in case of temperature, said the Minister of Health on Tuesday. They are asked if they feel feverish and they feel bad, not to go to the emergency room, not to go to a doctor, but to call center 15. “
At a press conference on January 23, Agnès Buzyn said that there were currently “no doubtful cases” in France. Ms. Yan is under investigation by her departments. So far, “there have been two investigated cases that have turned out to be negative”.
The Minister of Health also announced that a “rapid diagnostic test” had been developed “in record time” from the sequence of the virus released by China. “If we have a suspicion of cases in the territory, we can know within a few hours if the person is really sick or if they are waiting for another virus like the flu,” she explained. Ms. Yan’s case should therefore be examined quickly.
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