Ontario health experts have announced a second possible case of the new coronavirus in Canada.
The victim is the wife of the first person who was infected in Ontario, which was announced last Saturday, officials stated.
The couple recently traveled to Toronto from Wuhan, China, which is thought to be at the center of the outbreak.
“Since arriving in Toronto, this individual has been in self-isolation,” Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, shared during a press conference.
“She remains asymptomatic in isolation at home,” officials said.
In the meantime, Williams revealed that the first “presumptive” coronavirus case in Canada has since been confirmed thanks to secondary lab testing.
“All necessary protocols are in place to actively monitor, detect and contain the spread of this virus,” Williams said.
“The second case also reminds us that not all people who contract Wuhan novel coronavirus experience severe symptoms. As of today, she has not been in need of the same acute hospital care required by her husband who also remains stable.”
The two landed in Toronto on January 22, and just one day later, the first infected had a family member dial 911 because he was experiencing the coronavirus symptoms. He was afterward brought to Sunnybrook hospital by paramedics in protective clothing.
“As of this morning, Ontario implemented enhanced screening measures at all emergency medical services’ communication centres to help identify potential cases of this Wuhan novel coronavirus before dispatching paramedics,” Doctor Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, stated at a press conference recently.
Officials shared that no other members of the family traveled with the couple.
It was also revealed that 19 other people are currently under investigation “for whom results are pending.”
“They are all in isolation with appropriate precautions, which is standard practice now in hospitals for people with fever and respiratory symptoms,” Yaffe said.
“If I were to predict, probably they’ll all have something else.”
She added that “15 or 16” other cases have been ruled out so far.
For someone to be investigated, Williams said they have to show signs of a respiratory illness as well as a travel history to Wuhan or the wider Hubei province in China.
She noted that the risk to the people of Ontario is currently low despite the recent cases and added that the country is more prepared now than it was during the outbreak of SARS. Nevertheless, additional cases may appear.
“I would guess we’re going to see more cases reported (in) other parts of Ontario, perhaps,” she said.
Meanwhile, authorities revealed that there are people in charge of contacting passengers they suspect may have been exposed to the virus by having been in close proximity to the couple on China Southern Airlines Flight CZ31, which transported the two Guangzhou to Toronto.
China has thus far reported 2744 cases of the coronavirus along with a death toll of 80 people.
However, it remains to be seen if the virus is as dangerous as the regular flu, which is causing the deaths of thousands each year in Canada alone.
What are your thoughts on this pressing topic? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve found it informative.