No confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada but hospitals ready
TORONTO -- Public health officials say there are no confirmed cases in Canada of a new coronavirus that has killed more than a dozen people in China, but several patients are being tested as a precaution.
All of the Canadians under surveillance have recently travelled to China, where the virus originated in the city of Wuhan.
“Our health care systems have been alerted to identify and manage possible cases in Canada,” Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement Wednesday.
So far, there have been a handful of potential cases in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario.
The BC Centre for Disease Control says it’s testing several people in the province for potential infection of the virus. Health officials say the cases are important to monitor because “globally we are in an all-out public health effort to identify cases early with a goal of trying to contain this virus before it’s able to spread further.”
A spokesperson for Quebec’s health minister says six people in the province who recently travelled to China have shown symptoms of coronavirus.
Of the six, five are being monitored in hospitals in Montreal and Quebec. The sixth person has been discharged from the hospital after tests came back negative.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says three people, who travelled to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak, had been evaluated for the virus. Tests came back negative for those patients.
There were rumours on social media of the coronavirus appearing in a long-term care facility in northern Ontario, forcing local health officials to release a statement dismissing the speculation.