The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

3 suspected cases of SARS-related virus investigated in France; 1 already confirmed

  • Print

PARIS - French health officials said Friday they are investigating three suspected cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, in people who had close contact in the hospital with France's only confirmed case.

Beatrice Degrugillers, a spokeswoman for the regional health agency in France's Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, said a nurse at the hospital where the man was hospitalized in late April has herself been under watch at the hospital in Douai since Thursday night.

A doctor and a former hospital roommate who had each been in contact with the first patient also remain hospitalized. Test results are expected later Friday.

If confirmed, the additional cases would heighten concerns about the virus' ability to spread easily between people. Health authorities have previously said the new coronavirus has spread in limited circumstances between people in very close contact, such as relatives taking care of family members.

In 2003, the spread of SARS in hospitals in Asia ultimately sparked a global outbreak. Officials consider any spread of a new virus in hospitals to be the first sign it is gaining the ability to infect humans easily.

On Wednesday authorities announced the 65-year-old Frenchman was France's first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, which has killed 18 people since being identified last year in the Middle East.

The patient fell ill after returning from a nine-day vacation in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as part of a package tour, the Health Ministry said.

The man, whose identity was not released, returned from Dubai on April 17. He was hospitalized with respiratory problems in the northern French city of Valenciennes on April 23, and transferred to a more advanced facility in Douai on April 29.

Paris' Pasteur Institute analyzed the man's virus and confirmed that it is a novel coronavirus.

Since September 2012, the World Health Organization has been informed of 30 confirmed cases of the virus, and 18 of the patients have died. Cases have emerged in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Qatar, Britain and Germany, and health officials say the virus has likely already spread from person to person in some circumstances.

Since the virus emerged last year, European authorities have put in place monitoring measures. In France, 20 people have already been examined for suspected cases of the virus, but the other 19 turned up negative, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said.

The patient who travelled to Dubai is the only positive case. His family members have been tested and are not infected.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A red squirrel peaks out of the shade in a tree in East Fort Garry, Sunday, September 9, 2012. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who will you vote for in Wednesday's mayoral race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google