A 48-year-old Chinese man working in wine industry has been confirmed to have contracted the deadly Wuhan new coronavirus in Bordeaux, according to French health ministry.
The man entered Bordeaux from Netherlands after taking a flight from Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus, which has now infected 1,975 patients and killed 56 in China as of January 26, according to latest data released by China.
French health ministry revealed the man entered France on January 22, and first consulted a doctor with SOS Medecins medical service about his symptoms the following day and was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on January 24.
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, the man had contacts with over 10 people before he was diagnosed. The man is also reported to be a French passport holder.
This would make him the third confirmed case of Wuhan coronavirus in France, following earlier confirmation of a Wuhan couple travelling in Paris.
The couple however did not show symptoms arriving in Paris on January 18, but started to develop symptoms on January 19 and 23 respectively, according to French health officials.
“They showed no symptoms when they boarded their plane,” Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of infectious diseases at Paris hospital Bichat told reporters.
This confirms earlier warnings by top infectious disease expert Dr. Kwok-Yung Yuen, who said infected patients might display unusual symptoms or no symptoms during incubation period.
In an interview with Time magazine, he warned the new virus might be more infectious than SARS, the global epidemic that killed nearly 800 people in China in 2003.
The virus is now causing a full-blown health crisis in the country. Wuhan announced a city-wide lockdown on January 23, shutting down transportation in and out of the central city of 11 million people.
Hubei province where Wuhan is located has since placed 13 cities on a lockdown, involving 56 million people.
Major cities across China including Beijing and Shanghai have limited inter-provincial transportation, and cancelled all public assemblies and Chinese New Year celebrations as preventive measures for fear of outbreak.
Outside of China, the virus has now been reported in the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Nepal.
Total cases of confirmed patients as of today is 2,022.
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