Toronto, Jan 27 (Canadian-Media): 19 more cases of coronavirus are being investigated in Ontario, after Canada's first confirmed case of a man, and one presumptive case of his wife, who had recently returned from Wuhan, China, said Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer, media reports said.
Coronavirus. Image credit: Twitter handle
Coronaviruses, a large family of viruses that cause mild-to-moderate upper respiratory tract illnesses including the common cold, but they can also lead to severe diseases.
This new virus is different from the coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Its symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Those with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to severe disease. That includes the elderly and people with chronic illness, such as diabetes, cancer, heart or lung disease.
"We are working alongside Toronto Public Health, who has been in regular contact with the individual during their self-isolation period," Williams added.
"Given the fact that she has been in self-isolation, the risk to Ontarians remains low."
Williams joined by Dr. Barbara Yaffe, associate chief medical officer of health in Ontario, and Dr. Eileen de Villa, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto Toronto counterpart, updated reporters on the emerging situation at a news conference at Queen's Park shortly before noon.
The woman's case is considered "presumptive" until Winnipeg's National Microbiology Lab confirms the results from Public Health Ontario, a process which can take up to 48 hours, he said.
The man at the city's Sunnybrook Hospital, remains in stable condition, while his wife is at home and in isolation.
Results for the investigation of 19 people, currently in hospital and in isolation, are being awaited by the agency , she continued.
Meanwhile. the total number of confirmed cases across China has risen to 2,744 and all other cases outside of China have been travel-related, Yaffe said.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, could foresee more cases coming into Canada because of global flight patterns, but assures there's little risk of becoming infected here.