#Coronavirus was already spreading in #France in late December 2019

RT-PCR was performed retrospectively on the stored respiratory sample [from December 2019] and confirmed the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Based on this result, it appears that the COVID-19 epidemic started much earlier in France.

Here we report a case of a patient hospitalised in December 2019 in an intensive care unit in a hospital in the north of Paris for haemoptysis with no aetiological diagnosis. RT-PCR was performed retrospectively on the stored respiratory sample and confirmed the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Based on this result, it appears that the COVID-19 epidemic started much earlier in France.

Full report


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Dunkirk, #France: #Coronavirus case rate of 901 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, mostly #B117 variant

In Dunkirk, where the so-called English variant of Covid-19 is circulating and the incidence rate reaches 901 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the mayor has let it be known that he will not oppose confinement.

The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, seems to have heard Patrice Vergriete, the mayor of Dunkirk, and asks for “additional measures to slow down” the epidemic for the sub-prefecture of the Nord department. The Prime Minister, who has noted the “strong deterioration of health indicators in recent hours” , wants the local consultation work of elected officials and public authorities in the territory to define the response best suited to the situation, said Matignon Tuesday February 23.

Lemonde.fr article


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Moselle, France: “more than a third of coronavirus cases in circulation are of South African origin” #501YV2

The presence of variants in Moselle, France, continues to worry. After his visit last Thursday, Olivier Véran indicated this Tuesday afternoon, during questions to the government at the National Assembly that “more than a third of the cases in circulation are of South African origin”. The department is the “only place in the territory “where such a rate is observed,” said the minister.

According to Isabelle Lux, assistant to the town hall of Metz, contacted by CheckNews “more than 40% of the variants are South African or Brazilian on all the positive results for Sars-Cov-2 in Moselle between the end of the last week and the start of this week”.

Note that the incidence rate of the Moselle has climbed since the end of January to exceed the national average. Between February 6 and 12, it was 281 per 100,000 inhabitants against 189 on average in France.

Liberation.fr report


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New #coronavirus variant #B1525 with #E484K, #Q677H, #F888L and a similar deletions to #B117

International lineage with variants of biological significance E484K, Q677H, F888L and a similar suite of deletions to B.1.1.7.

Countries reported 2
Countries with sequences 10
Sequence count 102
Countries: Denmark 35,  United Kingdom 32,  Nigeria 12,  United States of America 7,  France 5,  Ghana 4,  Australia 2,  Canada 2,  Jordan 2,  Spain 1

cov-lineages.org report


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Man in France critical after #coronavirus #reinfection with South African variant #501YV2

Doctors in France are treating a critically ill patient infected with the South African coronavirus variant, four months after he recovered from Covid-19, in what study authors said was the first case of its kind.

The 58-year-old man initially tested positive for Covid-19 in September when he presented to medical staff with a fever and shortness of breath. The symptoms persisted only for a few days, and the man tested negative for Covid-19 twice in December 2020. However, he was admitted to hospital in January and diagnosed with the South African variant.

France24 report

Severe reinfection with South African SARS-CoV-2 variant 501Y.V2: A case report


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Evidence of early circulation of #SarsCov2 in France

Using serum samples routinely collected in 9144 adults from a French general population-based cohort, we identified 353 participants with a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG test, among whom 13 were sampled between November 2019 and January 2020 and were confirmed by neutralizing antibodies testing. This suggests early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe.

A recent investigation of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 959 adults participating to a trial in Italy with blood samples collected between September 2019 to February 2020 identified 111 (11.6%) samples with a positive receptor-binding protein specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), among which 4 samples collected in October, 1 in November and 1 in February were also positive in a qualitative microneutralization assay [4]. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 could have been present in Italy since the beginning of autumn 2019.



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#Coronavirus had spread across France in November 2019: “One in a thousand was infected”

French researchers have analyzed more than 9,000 blood samples from the months before the pandemic officially broke out and found 13 with traces of SARS-CoV-2. The study is so far the most solid evidence that the virus circulated in Europe in the autumn of 2019.

The clues have long piled up, and now French researchers can present what looks like the conclusive evidence that the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 circulated in Europe several months before the first official cases were found on the continent.

Berlingske.de article (paywall)


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Early warnings of #COVID19 outbreaks across Europe from social media

“We analyze data from Twitter to uncover early-warning signals of COVID-19 outbreaks in Europe in the winter season 2019–2020, before the first public announcements of local sources of infection were made. We show evidence that unexpected levels of concerns about cases of pneumonia were raised across a number of European countries. Whistleblowing came primarily from the geographical regions that eventually turned out to be the key breeding grounds for infections. These findings point to the urgency of setting up an integrated digital surveillance system in which social media can help geo-localize chains of contagion that would otherwise proliferate almost completely undetected.”



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France’s Pasteur Institute says it is abandoning #Covid19 vaccine project

France’s Pasteur Institute said on Monday it was ending development of a Covid-19 vaccine with US pharmaceutical company Merck after clinical trial results proved disappointing.

The partners announced a tie-up last May to develop a jab based on an existing measles vaccine, which was put into Phase 1 clinical trials in August.

“In these first human trials, the prospective vaccine was well tolerated but produced immune responses that were inferior to those observed in people who had recovered naturally and to those observed in the authorised vaccines,” a statement from Pasteur Institute said.




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If just 10% of #coronavirus patients suffer from #longhaul #covid….

The USA, with 25,700,000 infections so far, would have 2,570,000 long haulers

The UK, with 3,600,000 infections far, would have 360,000 long haulers

Germany, with 2,100,000 infections so far, would have 210,000 long haulers

France, with 3,000,000 infections so far, would have 300,000 long haulers

Spain, with 2,600,000 infections so far would have 260,000 long haulers

Russia, with 3,700,000 infections so far, would have 370,000 long haulers

Brazil, with 8,800,000 infections so far, would have 880,000 long haulers

Planet Earth, with nearly 100,000,000 infections so far, would have 10,000,000 long haulers

Lancet: “Our findings showed that 76% of patients reported at least one symptom at 6 months after symptom onset, and the proportion was higher in women.”


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Infection figures courtesy of Worldometers.info

Wastewater study shows 50% #coronavirus increase in Paris and Ile-de-France

“The dreaded new wave of Covid-19 in France may well be about to materialize. At least that’s what the analyzes of wastewater carried out by scientists from the Obépine network seem to announce. Since the start of the pandemic, these experts have taken samples from wastewater, in particular in Ile-de-France, and measured the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 there. This is a leading indicator, which makes it possible to grasp the evolution of the epidemic several days in advance of tests, calls to the SAMU or hospitalizations.

However, the latest samples have cause for concern. “Day after day, we see a clear rise in the virus,” says Laurent Moulin, one of the network managers. On average, its concentration in the region’s wastewater has increased by about 50% in three weeks.




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