Coronavirus cases detected in Europe

The first confirmed cases of potentially lethal virus in Europe were “not unexpected” says ECDC

Cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been detected in France, authorities say
Cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been detected in France, authorities say

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) has announced that French health authorities have confirmed three cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) virus in France since 24 January 2020.

The virus has already claimed a number of lives in China.

The virus has also been detected in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, France, the US, Australia and Malaysia, according to reports.

But the first confirmed cases in Europe were “not unexpected” it said, given the developments of the last few days with several coronavirus cases reported in countries outside of China.

The ECDC said that the fact that these cases were identified “proves that detection and confirmation of this novel virus is working in France, showing a high level of preparedness to prevent and control possible infections of 2019-nCoV.”

Adopting a reassuring tone, the announcement said that most EU countries have plans and measures in place to contain this kind of infections and Europe has well-equipped laboratories that can confirm probable cases in addition to hospitals that are prepared to treat patients accordingly.

“EU/EEA countries should ensure that timely and rigorous infection prevention and control measures (IPC) are applied around people diagnosed with 2019-nCoV. Such measures will keep the likelihood of further sustained spread in both healthcare and community settings low.

In the past, systematic implementation of infection prevention and control measures were effective in controlling both SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.”

“We are working with the EU/EEA Member States to ensure that they are prepared to manage any imported cases. ECDC is monitoring this event through epidemic intelligence activities, and provides risk assessments to guide EU Member States and the EU Commission in their response activities.”

It warned that it is likely that there will be more imported cases in Europe, but said that European countries have the necessary capacities to prevent and control an outbreak as soon as cases are detected.

The ECDC has created a regularly updated website with the most recent confirmed data: http://bit.ly/2019nCoV

 

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