- The coronavirus outbreak is thought to have started in a seafood market in Wuhan, China , and has sickened at least 900 people.
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The French government has confirmed the country's first two cases of the Wuhan coronavirus marking the outbreak's spread to Europe.
Agnes Buzyn, the Minister of Solidarity and Health of France, confirmed in a press briefing on Friday evening local time that two patients in two different regions tested positive for the novel strain of coronavirus.
"We will probably have other cases," she warned.
One of the patients is in Paris, being treated in the Bichat hospital, while the other is in the Bordeaux region of southern France. They're both currently in quarantine, Buzyn said in a briefing with French media.
Buzyn said both patients are men who recently returned from China. According to the French newspaper Le Monde , the Bordeaux patient is believed to be a French national of Chinese origin in his mid-40s. Le Monde also reported that the man was taken to the hospital after coming down with flu-like symptoms.
The coronavirus outbreak is believed to have originated in a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Over 900 people worldwide have been infected across 10 countries, with 26 deaths.
The scientific name for the virus is 2019-nCoV, and it can pass from human to human. Authorities are rushing to study it to prevent the disease from spreading further as millions begin to travel for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.
The CDC recommends all travelers wash their hands frequently with soap and water, making sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds in order to minimize risk of getting sick.
The French government began prepping coronavirus tests after reports that a Chinese citizen snuck past airport checks for virus symptoms. The woman had posted on social media about taking medicine to reduce her fever so that she could attend plays and eat at a Michelin star restaurant.
- The Chinese city of Wuhan was a breeding ground for an outbreak, experts say. The coronavirus has infected more than 870 people.
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