Scientists in France say COVID-19 may have been spreading in country in December

Virus Outbreak France
Posted at 5:14 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 07:28:23-04

LONDON — French scientists say they may have identified a possible case of the new coronavirus dating back to December.

That was about a month before the first cases were officially confirmed in Europe.

In a study published on Sunday, doctors at a hospital north of Paris reviewed the medical records and samples of 14 patients admitted for atypical pneumonia between early December and mid-January. Among those was a 42-year-old fishmonger who had lived in France for years and had no recent travel history.

He was admitted to the hospital with symptoms doctors say were consistent with COVID-19 patients in China and Italy.