The infectious corona virus that causes severe lung diseases has also emerged in Europe: the first three cases have been detected in France. All three people have been admitted to the hospital. French Minister Agnès Buzyn (Public Health expects that more people will be infected in France by now. According to her, it is impossible to close the borders.
One of the patients (48) recently visited Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered. Two of the three patients are related to each other. One of the patients, a 48-year-old man with Chinese roots, has been admitted to a hospital in Bordeaux. A French medical service reports that the man has been traveling in China and has traveled back through the Netherlands. The latter is denied by Dutch authorities. The man may have flown back via Schiphol airport.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was too early to declare the virus an international emergency. The WHO does keep a close eye on the virus. More than eight hundred people worldwide have been infected and 25 people have died. The situation is also worrying for more than 95 people.
Medical comparisons are made with the earlier Asian lung disease SARS that appeared in China in 2002. The chance that the Coronavirus will evolve into a SARS-like state is, according to some experts, real. As with SARS, it is mainly older people who can die from this disease. The mortality rate for younger people will be much lower.
The corona virus was first discovered in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan. Infections were also found in other cities in China, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Singapore and the United States. This mainly concerns people who have visited China.
Chinese media reported Thursday that all outgoing passenger and public transportation in Wuhan was stopped. The car, train and air traffic in Wuhan has been stopped. Several Chinese cities have been cut off from the world in order to prevent the spread of the corona virus. 450 military doctors have been sent to Wuhan to keep the outbreak under control. Many of these people have experience fighting SARS or Ebola.
The arrival of the Coronavirus is the third major risk of contagion currently facing health authorities in Europe. African swine fever has been observed for some time among wild boar, particularly in Eastern and Central Europe, and it is feared that it may spread to pig and livestock farming.
In western Poland, just a week ago, a wild boar with African swine fever was discovered just 12 kilometers from the border with Germany. If the virus also emerges in Germany, then that is a disaster for German pig farming. Markets outside of Europe will then very likely start excluding German pork. The same applies to the large-scale Belgian and Dutch pig industry.
Germany is talking to Poland to stop the animal disease. For example, work is underway on the construction of a fence to prevent infected pigs from crossing the border. The topic will also be on the agenda of a meeting of European agriculture ministers in Brussels next Monday.
Furthermore, bird flu has been widely observed in eastern Europe for several weeks. Due to the current winter migration of the birds to the West, an outbreak is also feared in Western Europe. In that case, all chickens and poultry must remain inside cages.