Canada has confirmed its first ‘presumptive’ case of 2019-nCov, the SARS-like virus that has already swept across China and found its way to the United States and Europe.
The patient is a man in his 50s who had travelled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the province’s associate chief medical officer of health.
Dr. Yaffe told a news conference Saturday that the patient is in isolation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. The patient is in stable condition.
The case was confirmed through testing mid-afternoon on Saturday.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 42 and sickened more than 1,300. It has led Chinese authorities to effectively quarantine Hubei province, where the outbreak began.
Health officials in Canada have been preparing for the arrival of the virus for weeks, with hospitals questioning patients about their travel and testing those with symptoms. Airports have implemented enhanced screening for passengers from China.
While 41 people have died of the virus in China, the World Health Organization has not declared the outbreak to be an international public health emergency.
Williams said the “risk to Ontarians is low” and the “system is operating as it should.”
According to the federal government, it is estimated that influenza results in 12,200 hospitalizations and about 3,500 deaths yearly.