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France Confirms First Dying in Europe From Coronavirus

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LONDON — A Chinese language vacationer has died in France of the coronavirus, the French well being minister mentioned on Saturday, changing into the outbreak’s first fatality in Europe and outdoors Asia.

France’s well being minister, Agnès Buzyn, mentioned the vacationer, who was 80 years outdated and from the Chinese language province of Hubei, the middle of the outbreak, died on the Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris on Friday after weeks of hospitalization. His daughter, who additionally has the virus, is receiving remedy and is predicted to be discharged quickly, Ms. Buzyn mentioned.

The person and his daughter have been amongst 12 confirmed instances in France. Of these instances, seven stay hospitalized and 4 have been discharged, in response to well being authorities.

The person’s dying comes as officers in Europe grapple with making ready for the unfold of the illness on the Continent, the place there have been 44 instances, in response to information from the World Well being Group.

Although the results of the outbreak have to this point been minimal in Europe, with confirmed instances in Germany, France and Britain, the outbreak was beginning to have a slowing effect on Europe’s economies.

  • Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

The death in France was announced days after the World Health Organization warned that the virus’s spread could accelerate outside China.

Germany reported two more cases just days ago, raising the total there to at least 16. And the British health authorities declared the new coronavirus “an imminent threat,” although all but one of the nine patients who tested positive there have been discharged.

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A British businessman who is believed to have been the initial source of at least five cases in Britain and five more in France said on Tuesday that he had contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore last month. He later traveled to a chalet in Les Contamines-Montjoie, where he came into contact with five Britons who later tested positive for the virus. Then he returned to Britain.

The businessman, Steve Walsh, said he had fully recovered.

Ms. Buzyn, the French health minister, did not identify the patient who died on Friday, but said he had arrived in France on Jan. 16 and been hospitalized since Jan. 25.

“His condition had quickly worsened and he had been in critical condition for several days,” Ms. Buzyn said in a televised statement.

Ms. Buzyn announced on Saturday that the 12th confirmed case in France was a British national who had also stayed at the chalet.

The director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that the new coronavirus could pose a “very grave threat” to the world and should be viewed as “Public Enemy No. 1,” he said.

“The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries,” Dr. Tedros wrote on Twitter just days ago. “In brief, we could solely be seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

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