Canada Montreal hospitals on heightened alert following coronavirus warning
Coronavirus: What Canadians need to know
We have updates, and answers to key questions, as the discovery of the first case in North America adds to fears of a global outbreakThe virus is determined to have killed six people so far.
Montreal hospitals are on heightened alert after the city’s public-health department issuedMonday concerning a new — considered a cousin of the SARS virus — that has infected more than 200 people since an outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December.
The World Health Organization has been monitoring the spread of the virus closely and is considering whether to declare an international public health emergency over the 2019-nCoV virus. The WHO has confirmed two deaths from the virus, while Chinese authorities have reported that six people have died.
Five Individuals In Quebec Are Being Monitored For Potential Cases Of The Coronavirus
One other person in Quebec was discharged from the hospital after testing negative for the virus. Some of these individuals are currently being held in Montreal hospitals.It has not yet been confirmed whether these individuals are suffering from coronavirus or another form of respiratory illness. The situation is being watched closely. The effects of this virus range from causing an average cold to "severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)," according to the WHO. The virus can be easily spread from person to person.
Canadian authorities have not detected anyone returning from Asia with the virus, but are bracing for the possibility. In Montreal, medical staff have been instructed to ask anyone turning up in emergency rooms with flu-like symptoms whether they have traveled to China.
“It’s good to remain cautious to make sure we can curtail this virus before it spreads more than it has already spread in China,”, in charge of infection control and at Ste-Justine Hospital, told the Montreal Gazette on Tuesday.
“Whenever someone has a runny nose and a cough, regardless of the etiology (cause), we isolate the patient as a precaution. What all the hospitals have added on top of this now is we make sure that when we triage a patient in the ER, we ask them if they were traveling in the past two weeks, and if people are coming from that area in China, we’re going to isolate them right away, ask them to wear a mask, so that they don’t transmit it to others.”
Toronto resident travelling to China for Lunar New Year unfazed as coronavirus spreads
A Toronto woman — one of millions of people heading to China for the Lunar New year — seems unfazed by the coronavirus outbreak, which has left 17 people dead amid more than 570 confirmed cases. Nancy Li is travelling to the Chinese city of Guangzhou Wednesday night as the SARS-like coronavirus spreads and health officials in several places expand their enhanced checks.
Theis taking the same precautions, Dr. Charles Frenette said.
“Our process is already in place to screen travelers returning from China with respiratory-tract infections. Right now we’re in the middle of influenza season and we’re seeing a lot of respiratory-tract infections, and our (internal) audits show that we’re pretty good at identifying those patients rapidly.”
Air Canada has daily flights from Shanghai to Montreal. Marie-Claude Desgagnés, a spokesperson for Aéroports de Montréal, referred all questions to Health Canada. She said she didn’t know whether to detect whether returning travelers have high body temperatures, as is the case with airports in China.
On Monday, Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the government is increasing signage at airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal that ask travelers from Wuhan to advise customs agents whether they are suffering from any flu-like symptoms.
Coronavirus: Five Quebecers under hospital observation
Quebec’ s chief public health officer revealed Wednesday that five people in the province who travelled recently to China are under hospital observation for possible exposure to the new coronavirus that is spreading through Asia. However, Dr. Horacio Arruda emphasized this does not mean that any of the five individuals have, in fact, contracted the 2019-nCoV virus that has been blamed for the deaths of 17 people in Wuhan, China.
Quach added that Quebec’s public-health lab is able to diagnose the virus, whose genetic sequence is already known.
“Because we don’t have any pre-existing immunity to this brand new virus, there’s always a risk of more severe complications,” she explained.
Coronaviruses are part of a large group of viruses that circulate among animals. In rare cases, they can make the leap to humans, and become transmissible among people. The new Chinese coronavirus can cause pneumonia and doesn’t respond to antibiotics.
The outbreak in China has rekindled memories of SARS, which also originated in that country and killed 774 people in the early 2000s. That virus caused an outbreak in Toronto, infecting nearly 300 people.
This story will be updated.
Some Ontario universities, colleges warn of fake coronavirus alerts circulating online .
Ryerson University, McMaster University, and Durham College staff all advised they were aware of fake Coronavirus reports circulating.“Ryerson University is aware that there are fake social media posts alleging that students have been admitted to hospital with the coronavirus today. There are no cases of coronavirus at Ryerson,” the university tweeted on Monday, referencing an image circulating online that claims that two students have tested positive for the virus.