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Coronavirus reaches Europe, first cases confirmed in France

He is in hospital in the south-western city of Bordeaux.

The patients had recently traveled from China, the site of what the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed an epidemic that has gripped that country with 26 deaths and more than 900 falling sick.

Buzyn said this patient was 48 years old and had returned two days ago from a trip to China which included a stop in Wuhan. "We will probably have other cases".

Buzyn said she had no information yet on the second case, in Paris, which had just been confirmed.

Buzyn said she believes that one reason why France is the first European country to have confirmed cases is that it has developed a test allowing medics to rapidly diagnose the sickened.

China is now in lockdown in a desperate attempt to curb the spread of the virus, with authorities shutting part of the Great Wall and suspending public transport in 10 cities.

The other person is hospitalized in a large city hospital in Paris.

The minister said she planned to hold daily press conferences on the issue.

French authorities say there will likely be others confirmed soon.

The minister urged people who suspect they've sickened to call emergency services and to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus.

Peng Zhiyong, centre, head of the department of critical care medicine, and his colleagues attend to a patient at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan.

The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or involved people who visited the city or had personal connections to those infected.

It comes as the United States confirmed a second case of the virus, after a woman in Chicago, Illinois, was found to have contracted it.

New cases have been reported in South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. She was reported to be doing well.



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