French Scientists Identify SARS-CoV-2 Case From December; WHO Urges Countries To Investigate Possible Early Cases; Several U.S. States Launch Retrospective Examinations

The Hill: French scientists discover nation treated coronavirus patient in December
“French scientists have identified the earliest-known case of COVID-19 in the nation: a patient who was treated in a hospital near Paris in December, an indication that the virus has been spreading across the world for far longer than had previously been known…” (Wilson, 5/4).

Reuters: WHO urges countries to investigate early COVID-19 cases
“The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was ‘not surprising,’ and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases…” (Farge/Nebehay, 5/5).

Wall Street Journal: The Search Is On for America’s Earliest Coronavirus Deaths
“…Across the U.S., health investigators have launched efforts to find previously unidentified deaths from Covid-19, in some cases looking far back enough to potentially rewrite the timeline of when the coronavirus first came to the country and began killing Americans. Public health officials and scientists say identifying the earliest deaths and infections in the U.S. is critical to understanding fully how the virus was transmitted and how deadly it is…” (Frosch et al., 5/4).