Professor Eric Caumes, head of the department of infectious and tropical diseases of the hospital of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris considered as “quite plausible” the trail of contamination Covid-19 for participants in the Games military of Wuhan (China) in October.The pentathlète Élodie Clouvel is sure to have caught the Covid-19 during his participation in the Games military of Wuhan in October 2019. Here at the olympic Games in Rio in 2016. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP)
Several French athletes revealed these last days have suffered from the symptoms of the new coronavirus during or after the Games military of Wuhan (China) last October, which were attended by more than 400 athletes tricolor. The ministry of the Armed forces has denied on Wednesday the existence of “flus or hospitalization” among the French athletes during and at the back of the Games-military “can be likened to it, a posteriori, in the case of a Covid-19”. But for Eric Caumes, it does very little doubt : “The character of the disease and the symptoms that are described” sportsmen “think that it is the Covid-19”.
franceinfo : sports-contaminated Covid-19 last October after having participated in the Games, military in China, is that credible ?
Eric Caumes : It seems to me quite plausible. You have seen that in France, we had our first event official at the end of January. Then, we realized a few days ago that, eventually, the first French case appeared at the end of December to the hospital, Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis). And if it is, you will find other cases during December. So, I’m not very surprised that it had happened exactly the same thing in Wuhan. The first case the official has been identified at the end of December in China. But in fact, it is quite possible that the virus had been circulating low-noise, and cases are, in reality, appeared within four to six weeks, even eight weeks that have preceded it. What is described by the athletes who participated in the Games military, it is obviously necessary to confirm this scientifically. But it will be fairly easy to accomplish since there is now a serological test that allows obtaining a retrospective diagnosis of the disease. If these athletes are tested positive, it is very likely that they have caught the new coronavirus in Wuhan.
Even more than six months after the holding of the Games military in China, can we have the evidence of this contamination ?
Yes, it is very likely that the serological tests will still be positive. If we test a group of individuals who, apparently, have been very many have fallen sick, many of them have great chances to be tested positive. In addition, the characteristics of the disease and its symptoms, which are described, think that it is the Covid-19. The athletes talk about a big flu, speak of easy transmission within the family home. Not to mention the fact that several sports are contaminated at the same time. All of this evokes something other than a banal flu. In addition, I imagine that these athletes are not parties in China in the month of October not to be vaccinated against the flu, especially at a time of transmission of the flu virus, since it was the end of autumn and beginning of winter. Therefore, all these factors put end to put end to end explain that this was very probably the circulation of novel coronavirus.
Why is it important for researchers to know that the first cases of contamination were held in October and not a few months later ?
It is important from a scientific point of view, of course. But from a medical point of view, compared to what is currently happening, it will not change anything. By being deliberately provocative, I even want to say that it has no interest. What interests us is to succeed in the déconfinement with a minimum of risk to the population. To know if the virus began to circulate in China in October or November rather than in December, for the moment, this is not a major point of the discussion.