A second case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Toronto.
In a statement released earlier today, Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that the infected individual is the wife of the first patient who tested positive for the virus in Canada.
“We are working alongside Toronto Public Health, who has been in regular contact with the individual during their self-isolation period. Given the fact that she has been in self-isolation, the risk to Ontarians remains low,” Dr. Williams wrote in a statement.
Public health officials have confirmed that the couple recently returned to Toronto from Wuhan, China, where the virus originated. The husband, 50, showed mild symptoms while on the flight, but visited a hospital the following day after his symptoms worsened. He’s currently in stable condition at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is caring for a patient who has a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
The patient is in stable condition and has been admitted to an isolation room. More info: https://t.co/BDLgqfjAzw
— Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (@Sunnybrook) January 25, 2020
Meanwhile, officials are tracking down passengers who were on board the same flight as the couple — China Southern Airlines Flight CZ311, from Guangzhou, China, landed at Pearson Airport at 3:46 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
According to Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Health Minister, while this newest case has been in self-isolation, the province is monitoring the situation as efforts continue to contain the virus.
From what we know, Wuhan novel coronavirus transmits through close contact—and there’s no closer contact than a husband and wife. While this new case has been in self-isolation, we’re monitoring the situation as efforts continue to contain the virus. https://t.co/wdE5XuMuU3
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) January 27, 2020
According to Toronto Public Health, on Dec. 31, 2019, cases of undiagnosed viral pneumonia (which have now been confirmed as a “novel coronavirus” or 2019-nCoV) were first reported by health officials in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries, including Canada, United States, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, France, and Australia.
As of publication date, there are 2,887 confirmed cases globally and 81 deaths linked to the virus.
Coronaviruses are part of a family of viruses that can circulate in animals and humans. It can lead to illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or even the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, chest pain, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, kidney failure, and in extreme cases, death. It can spread by coughing, sneezing, or touching contaminated objects.
There’s no cure for the virus, and wearing a surgical mask likely won’t stop one from getting infected — but simple safety precautions might help: Wash your hands throughout the day with soap and water (and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands).
For more up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus, please speak to your family doctor, or visit the Toronto Public Health site.