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A novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) causing a cluster of respiratory infections (coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19) in Wuhan, China, was identified on 7 January 2020. The epidemic quickly disseminated from Wuhan and as at 12 February 2020, 45,179 cases have been confirmed in 25 countries, including 1,116 deaths. Strengthened surveillance was implemented in France on 10 January 2020 in order to identify imported cases early and prevent secondary transmission. Three categories of risk exposure and follow-up procedure were defined for contacts. Three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on 24 January, the first cases in Europe. Contact tracing was immediately initiated. Five contacts were evaluated as at low risk of exposure and 18 at moderate/high risk. As at 12 February 2020, two cases have been discharged and the third one remains symptomatic with a persistent cough, and no secondary transmission has been identified. Effective collaboration between all parties involved in the surveillance and response to emerging threats is required to detect imported cases early and to implement adequate control measures.


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