French hospital discover a coronavirus case from December - a month before first confirmed patient
4 May 2020, 18:14 | Updated: 4 May 2020, 18:36
The hospital retested old samples of 24 Pneumonia patients - and discovered that one had Covid-19.
A French hospital has discovered that it treated a man for coronavirus as early as 27 December, which is a month before the first confirmed case in the country.
According to a report by the Guardian, the hospital retested samples from 24 patients who were treated for Pneumonia but tested negatively for the flu, and found that one man tested positive for Covid-19.
Dr Yves Cohen, head of resuscitation at the Avicenne and Jean Verdier hospitals in Paris, told BFM TV: "Of the 24, we had one who was positive for Covid-19 on 27 December."
He added that each sample was retested several times to ensure that there were no errors.
France confirmed its first three cases on 24 in January, which included two cases in Paris and one in Bordeaux.
Dr Cohen said it's too early to know whether the December patient is 'patient zero', but he did confirm that he survived.
He added: "He was sick for 15 days and infected his two children, but not his wife, who works in a supermarket."
"He was amazed, he didn’t understand how he had been infected. We put the puzzle together and he had not made any trips. The only contact that he had was with his wife."
Speaking about the patient's wife, Dr Cohen added: "We’re wondering whether she was asymptomatic.
"He may be the 'patient zero’, but perhaps there are others in other regions. All the negative PCRs for pneumonia must be tested again. The virus was probably circulating."