The first Corona case is said to have occurred in Alsace (France) in November 2019
The coronavirus appeared earlier than previously known in France - according to doctors from Colmar as early as November 2019. That was several weeks before China reported the first case.
Parisian doctors have examined old samples. They came across the case of a 43-year-old from Bobigny who was admitted to the clinic on December 27, 2019 because of a serious lung disease. As the French media report, an infection with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 was subsequently detected on his samples.
In addition to the Paris metropolitan area, Covid-19 has spread rapidly in France, especially in the eastern region, and particularly in Alsace, and has claimed many lives. The first infections with the virus were detected here in late January. Michel Schmitt, chief physician at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Colmar, came across the first Covid 19 cases in the region as early as mid-November last year when comparing patient data.
China reported the first case on December 31
As reported by the hospital, Schmitt compared 2456 chest images from the period between November 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020. In Strasbourg and Colmar, the first Covid 19 patient was admitted at the end of January and tested positive for the virus. The first patient died in the Albert Schweitzer Hospital on March 4.
Experienced radiologists would have compared older images of lungs with those that have been shown to come from patients who tested positive for the virus.
Based on the correspondence between confirmed infections and lung diseases from the previous year, Schmitt and his team came to the conclusion that the first Covid 19 case in Colmar had already been brought to the clinic on November 16, 2019 - long before the doctors there could know something about the new pathogen. The first Covid-19 case was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from China on December 31, 2019.
From an Alsatian point of view, the Colmar data analysis allows the epidemic to be reinterpreted at the regional level. Schmitt describes an initially very slow course until the beginning of February with an then exponential increase in the number of infections and a peak in the number of infections and patients at the end of March. Christmas markets, family celebrations and a religious gathering in Mulhouse in mid-February would have contributed to the spread of the virus. The reason for the examination was a large number of patients who had shown flu-like symptoms in winter and in whom the disease had taken an unusually severe course.
Researcher: Sars-CoV-2 may have originated in October 2019
The early patient from Bobigny suffered from dry cough, fever, tiredness and severe breathing difficulties, typical symptoms of Covid-19. He had no contact with China, nor had he returned from a trip abroad. The doctors suspect that he may have been infected by his wife, who works in a supermarket near Charles de Gaulle Airport. She found no symptoms in herself. A spokesman for the WHO told the dpa that there were already mysterious lung diseases in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, which were initially not attributed to infection with a new virus.
Meanwhile, results from a team of researchers led by Francois Balloux from University College London suggest that the first infections may have occurred in early October. The broadcaster n-tv reports on their findings published in the journal Infection, Genetic and Evolution. The London-based researchers examined 7666 gene samples obtained from Covid-19 patients from different countries. They focused on the genetic changes in the pathogens. Based on these mutations that take place as the virus adapts to its environment, they have calculated the birth of Sars-CoV-2. They limit its creation to the period between October 6 and December 8, 2019.
Reference: Badische Zeitung (Translated into English)
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