The first case of coronavirus confirmed in Toronto and here's what you need to know
The first case of coronavirus has now been confirmed in Canada and it's right here in Toronto.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams, made the announcement late this afternoon revealing that a patient with a fever and respiratory symptoms is now in isolation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
The patient was brought to the hospital by fully-protected paramedics on Thursday but lab results weren't confirmed until today by the Public Health Ontario Laboratory.
The man affected with the coronavirus is said to be 52-years old and in stable condition. He returned on Wednesday, January 22 from Wuhan, a Chinese city of 11 million that is currently under quarantine by the Chinese government.
According to reports, the man arrived at Pearson Airport on China Southern Airlines Flight 311 from Guangzhou and traveled directly to his Toronto residence via a private vehicle.
Toronto Public Health is apparently working to identify any individuals the man may have been in contact with and is also monitoring members of the man's household who are said to be in self-isolation.
Officials say they don't believe the man has taken public transit since his return from Wuhan. They have also not released any information on where in the city the man lives.
While this marks the first known case of coronavirus in Canada, cases have been reported in 16 countries including the United States and Australia.
So far almost 2,000 cases have been confirmed in China leading to 55 deaths. 237 patients are said to be in serious condition.
MAP: The spread of new strand of coronavirus pic.twitter.com/d6L4qvr11H— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) January 25, 2020
Coronavirus symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The City of Toronto has published an explainer on their web site with additional information.
There has been a coronavirus case reported in Toronto...please stay safe everyone!! Here’s some things you may want to keep in mind and we are praying for everyone 💛 pic.twitter.com/d6LiuxeeIR— Seventeen Canada (@CanadaCarats) January 26, 2020
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent coronavirus so taking preventative measures are crucial.
To anyone in Toronto make sure to wear masks or stuff over your face when out in public, wash your hands frequently and try to avoided crowded places, or just stay inside whenever you can to prevent getting the coronavirus— 𝚂𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚑 ♡𝚜 𝙷𝚘𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚐 (@Dicjoonary) January 25, 2020
This includes wearing N95 face masks which are currently flying off the shelves in Toronto. Retailers and pharmacies are reporting to have sold massive quantities of the masks in recent days leaving them with no inventory.
They say that coronavirus was found in Toronto. Just went to a pharmacy and there are so many people asking for face masks. They ran out of masks and people are now taking huge amounts of hand sanitizer— Hacer (@hacer_kun) January 26, 2020
The news of the confirmed case of coronavirus has already led to widespread reaction, particularly on Twitter, where some are trying to calm the nerves of their fellow citizens.
People need to cool their jets re: coronavirus. We have a first rate Public Health infrastructure in Toronto and Ontario, and have learned tons from the SARS experience. Chances are things will be handled quite effectively.— Alim Jiwa (@AlimJiwa) January 26, 2020
Others are more worried and suggesting they're going to limit their contact with others.
The coronavirus is confirmed to be in Toronto... I'm afraid to go outside cause no one knows how to cover their mouth when they cough or to cough into their arm and not their hands...— Sadiq 🐝 (@SaductiveSadiq) January 26, 2020
The Ontario government says it plans to update this dedicated web page daily with the most up-to-date information.
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