Some 2,456 scanners produced between October 12 and April 30 were screened by the medical imaging center at the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Colmar (Haut-Rhin). The results show several cases of Covid-19 as of November 16 in a region hit hard by the epidemic.
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What if the coronavirus had appeared in France much earlier than we imagine? Several recent studies tend to confirm this. In early May, Bondy doctors found a case of contamination dating back to December 27, 2019 thanks to the re-analysis of samples.
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Reanalyze, look differently, start from scratch: this is exactly what the medical imaging department of the Albert-Schweitzer hospital in Colmar has been working on for several weeks, systematically taking back all the chest scanners produced between October 12 and April 30. For Michel Schmitt, head of the medical imaging department, the objective of this new study is twofold: on the one hand, it is a question of " understanding how this disease was able to appear and spread " and, on the other hand, to think about "how to do it better next time, how to react sooner, the epidemic proliferation, usual on earth, going to recur" explains the doctor in a press release.
Files classified into three categories
After a careful and careful study, each file is classified into three categories: "Not suggestive of COVID" , in the event that no anomaly reveals the presence of the virus, "Compatible COVID" and "Typical COVID" . Regarding the last two, the opinion of a second or even a third doctor is required to validate or not the mention. Several radiologists from Colmar hospital were thus able to highlight two cases of "typical pulmonary anomalies caused by Covid-19" from mid-November, twelve in December, sixteen in January and " so follow up to the epidemic phase ”can be read in the press release from Dr. Schmitt.
The onset of a disease cannot be arbitrarily stopped when specific tests are produced and used.Michel Schmitt, head of the medical imaging department at the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Colmar.
The latter nevertheless wishes to clarify that if " the scanner is the most sensitive technique " it is " not the most specific (detection of the virus by PCR) " and that consequently " we do not provide and will never be able to provide viral proof ”. Michel Schmitt rather sees radiology as a means of preventing, alerting and even anticipating a future pandemic. "The onset of a disease cannot be arbitrarily stopped when specific tests are produced and used, " he explains. "To reason otherwise would be to say that tuberculosis would have appeared with Koch's work and rage with that of Pasteur ... It doesn't make sense!" He warns again.
Tracing the journey of patients potentially affected by the virus
For its part, the High Health Authority (HAS) has decided. The latter does not consider it necessary to carry out a thoracic scanner, the average cost of which generally reaches 140 euros, "for screening purposes in patients without signs of seriousness for the diagnosis of COVID-19" .
With regard to the follow-up to these discoveries, the radiologists intend to continue their investigations by going back to the study on October 1, lastly, and carrying out epidemiological analyzes when the files have proved compatible or typical for Covid-19 in a Secondly. They also plan to meet the patients " to reconstruct their clinical, biological history, their environment and lifestyle, their possible trips, any viral tests carried out much later (at the earliest mid to the end of February) ". Finally, the doctors wish to carry out an " analysis of the dynamics of viral diffusion at its beginning, endeavoring to detect as soon as possible a possible future resumption of scanner anomalies: we will therefore continue our study until the end of the year, at first ”.
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In France, many health establishments, such as the Albert Schweitzer hospital, are studying the new coronavirus, from its appearance through the search for the "zero patient" to its spread throughout the country.
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