The head of Sweden’s coronavirus response, Anders Tegnell, claimed the Wuhan coronavirus might have been in the country as early as November.
Tegnell made his comments at a press conference on Tuesday saying there might have been individual cases of the Chinese virus as far back as November. But he added that the cases would not have had any significant impact on the spread of the infection.
“I think you can find a few cases among Wuhan travellers who were here in November, December last year. It doesn’t sound at all strange but very possible,” the state epidemiologist said, according to SVT.
“The French case suggests it, and there are similar anecdotes in other countries,” Tegnell added, referring to recent comments from French doctor Yves Cohen who said this week that a patient treated on the 27th of December had coronavirus.
Italian Region Now Thinks it Already Had 1,200 Coronavirus Cases Before ‘Patient One’ Was Even Detected https://t.co/eS2DVWU6hh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 1, 2020
A swab of the French patient, 43-year-old Amirouche Hammar from Bobigny, was taken in December but was not tested until recently and was found positive for the coronavirus infection.
Hammar claimed he had not left France before his illness, but it was noted that his wife worked near the Charles De Gaulle airport and may have come into contact with Chinese travellers.
According to Tegnell, the early cases in Sweden were not responsible for the outbreak that has led to the deaths of around 2,800 people so far in the country, with the Swedish Public Health Authority believing the large-scale infections did not start until either February or March.
France and Sweden are not the only countries to report cases well before the main outbreak of coronavirus took hold across Europe. In Italy, doctor Pietro Poidomani claimed to have seen cases resembling coronavirus symptoms as early as January 7th.
Poidomani stated that he attempted to check medical x-ray records with the local government of Bergamo but was denied. Bergamo went on to be one of the worst affected areas in Italy.
In the Lombardy region, where Bergamo is located, a recent analysis of cases also shows the virus had been in Italy before the first official case on February 21st, stating as many as 1,200 cases existed prior to the discovery of “patient one”.