Did this microbiologist predict Coronavirus Outbreak 17 years ago?
In 2003, french physician and microbiologist, Didier Raoult, alerted the Ministry of Health of France to “risks of the appearance of respiratory virus mutants, in particular influenza.” A phenomenon that the infectious disease specialist then considered to be “the most formidable” among emerging diseases.
Didier Raoult had everything planned, 17 years before everyone else? In the document which dates from 2003, the Marseille doctor wrote an entire chapter on “new contagious diseases” in which he describes with disturbing precision the crisis the world is currently going through with the virus. He explains in particular that “the risk of epidemics by diseases transmitted by the respiratory tract is extremely possible, due to the densification of the human population”.
In the report, Didier Raoult sounds the alarm bells. He affirms that this population density in the megalopolises combined with the exponential number of air trips constitute an enormous risk, and that under these conditions: “the mutualisation of a virus transmissible by respiratory route would be extremely fast”.
“This type of event, the sudden mutation and then the introduction of a virus of animal origin into the human world, are rare and chaotic events which can have extremely rapid and extremely dangerous consequences.”
Unprepared Rich and Developed Countries
Didier Raoult also warned the rich and developed countries by urging them not to believe themselves to be immune, and by pointing out their lack of preparation.
“Our preparation for these chaotic events is weak. The development difference which is widening between the richest countries and the poorest countries gives hope for the richest that the diseases of the poorest will remain confined to the third world. As regards contagious diseases, this is not probable. The human species is unique, microorganisms move around and any emergence of a new pathogen in any country in the world will allow it to rapid expansion without any border control being possible”.
“Information campaigns must be carried out among the public, but also among nursing staff, on basic concepts of hygiene in order to relaunch hand cleaning in hospitals, the wearing of masks, the isolation of contagious patients,” he launched. So many barrier gestures which, today, appear to us to be vital to protect ourselves from Covid-19.
A Forgotten Report
Taking all these elements into account, it is difficult not to see in this report the exact prediction of the health crisis currently hitting the world with Covid-19. Both on the biological level and on the lack of preparation of the affected countries, like France. However, at the time, this report did not result in any major decision by the government and rather fell into oblivion.
“It fell in the middle of the heat wave of 2003, which blocked certain health decisions. It is clear that Didier Raoult’s report has taken a back seat,” explained Jean-Francois Mattei.
While his work is hotly contested today, perhaps we can at least give him credit that if the government had listened to him more carefully 17 years earlier, the World would have been better prepared to welcome this terrible virus.