Published: Tue, January 28, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital receives first case of coronavirus

Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital receives first case of coronavirus

The city says the risk to Mississauga residents remains low. Nine other suspected cases in Ontario alone were under investigation as of Sunday.

Some cases, however, have not been linked to the market, and the virus' source is still unknown.

In Canada, close contacts are asked to self-isolate at home so public health officials can observe if they get symptoms or not.

In a conference call Thursday, Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada, said "there is no recommendation to wear a mask when you're going about your daily regular activities". He is now stable at a hospital in Toronto.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer confirmed in a statement on Monday that a second individual in the Canadian province tested positive for being infected with the novel coronavirus.

"Toronto Public Health is conducting case and contact management and Ontario is in touch with our federal counterparts to help determine exposure to other individuals on the flights".

Officials abide by the protocols and attempt to contact China Southern Airlines flight CZ311 from Guangzhou, China, who were in the immediate vicinity of the couple.

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"The patient will not be discharged until we can be assured that they are making a full recovery and no longer pose any risk to public health", Jerome Leis, medical director of infection prevention and control at Sunnybrook, said on Sunday.

"Fundamentally as public health officials, this is our objective and our goal", she said.

There are now 67 Canadians who have registered with the voluntary Registration of Canadians Abroad service, according to a government source, but because the registration is voluntary, the numbers are not a complete picture of how many Canadians are in the region or in China.

Despite reassurances from Dr. Tam and other health officials that the coronavirus poses a very low risk to Canadians, some have taken to social media to question Canada's response and spread misinformation about the virus, presenting health officials with a new challenge of quelling growing public unease.

The virus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread to over 2,000 people and killed 56. The quarantine could make the situation worse, including by exacerbating shortages of medical supplies. Moving forward, each weekday this web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information on the number of cases under investigation and those that have been confirmed.

Canadian doctors urge affected citizens to take the same precautions to avoid common illnesses, such as washing hands and coughing in the arm or sleeve rather than the hand. Early data on the new form of virus suggests masks won't be especially effective, and some say that repeatedly touching and adjusting the masks with unwashed hands could do more harm than good.

A total of 17 cities in China are now on lockdown, limiting the movement of more than 50 million people during what is normally the world's busiest travel period due to the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

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