The new coronavirus continues to spread. It is now installed in more than thirty other countries, and France is not spared since three new cases were announced Wednesday, one of which caused the death of a patient, a 60-year-old professor who had not traveled in one of the foci of contamination. "This is one of the scenarios that we feared," admitted this Wednesday at the microphone of the "Big Evening Newspaper" of Europe 1 Arnaud Fontanet, director of the epidemiology unit of the Pasteur Institute.
Patients may go unnoticed
As for this professor from Oise, Arnaud Fontanet predicts that "we are going to have new patients for whom it will not be possible to trace the way in which they were infected. There are many foci in the world [of contamination] important, which may swarm foreign patients who will not be spotted because they do not necessarily come from "a risk area.
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"And as some patients, even with minor forms of the disease, can transform [see their condition deteriorate, note ]", detection can become more complicated than in the first cases. A sick person who has no apparent link with an outbreak may be identified "later in the chain of transmission", and therefore have had time to transmit the virus to more people. This is why "very thorough epidemiological surveys" are set up for new patients, explains the specialist at the microphone of Europe 1.
France ready for an Italian situation?
While the situation has quickly deteriorated in Italy, which is now the most affected country in Europe 1 with 374 cases and 12 deaths (according to the latest report available), is France ready if the situation gets carried away in the same way ? Wanting to be reassuring, Arnaud Fontanet emphasizes that "France is prepared" and that "a lot of work has been done in the past weeks to put together a plan that concerns the entire healthcare system".
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Nevertheless, he believes that this system "will be put to the test", before concluding: "I hope that we will be able to respond to the challenge before us."