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Coronavirus appears to have infected people in France weeks before the disease was detected in Europe and possibly before the first cases of pneumonia of unknown origin were announced in China in December, according to scientists and doctors who have analysed virus samples. Retesting of samples from patients with influenza-like symptoms at a hospital north of Paris found one that tested positive for coronavirus from the end of last year, a finding described in a paper for the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents published this week.