A fever, aches, coughs ... For this 18-year-old student, receptionist in a hotel welcoming Chinese tourists, the culprit was ideal: coronavirus. "She immediately thought about it and was very worried," says Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Paris, where the patient came to consult this Friday evening.
If the young woman is quit for a few days of flu, she is symptomatic of the other undesirable effect of the mysterious virus that shakes the world: the risk of panicking when three first cases of nCoV, her nickname, have been confirmed in France.
"The challenge is also to control people's psychosis and deliver the right messages to them," insists the doctor. The first is not to go to the emergency room or to your doctor, but to call 15 if you have symptoms. "Remember that the virus is suspected only in the event of direct contact with an infected person or if there has been a stay in China," summarizes Gérald Kierzek.
VIDEO. Chinese virus in France: symptoms and prevention
If the tone of doctors, like health authorities, is reassuring, it is also because in France, the two men and the woman who are infected "are doing well". In front of the Parisian hospital Bichat, Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, says it with a big smile. Here, a couple of young thirties, of Chinese origin and returning from Wuhan (the epicenter of the epidemic), were taken care of around noon on Friday, after contacting on 15. At 8 pm, the test - a collection of material in the throat or a simple spit - was clear: both were positive for coronavirus.
"France is very well prepared"
Even if everyone has been placed in quarantine, in two separate rooms where air enters but does not come out, they are very fit, physically and psychologically. Ditto in Bordeaux, where a 48-year-old man, who in January had made a professional trip to the Middle Empire, was infected but does not present a serious form of the disease. The festivities of the Chinese New Year, which were to be held this Sunday in the Bordeaux city were all the same canceled, by "principle of precaution".
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Globally, the alert remains strong, while viral pneumonia has already affected 1,300 people and killed 41. "The situation is serious," said the Chinese president. The automotive giant PSA announced to him this Saturday to repatriate his expatriates living in the Wuhan agglomeration.
"We have learned a lot from other epidemics, in particular from the SARS of 2003. Today, France is very well prepared," said Pierre Carli, boss of the Samu de Paris who received between Friday and Saturday, thirty calls including doubts could be removed for 95% of them. "We must not forget that we are in winter and that we must not let other illnesses pass by," he recalls. This Saturday, the ministry said to set up a medical team at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport and launch an information page entirely dedicated to the virus which has not finished talking about him.
VIDEO. Viruses in China: Lessons from SARS