The Government of Ontario has confirmed that the wife of the province’s first case of the Wuhan novel coronavirus has tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory.
They also confirmed that since arriving in Toronto with her husband, she has been in self-isolation.
“We are working alongside Toronto Public Health, who has been in regular contact with the individual during their self-isolation period,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Given the fact that she has been in self-isolation, the risk to Ontarians remains low.”
The government says it currently has 9 cases under investigation.
On Saturday, the provincial government confirmed its first “presumptive case” of coronavirus at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.
According to the province, on Thursday, January 23, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre admitted a patient brought in by paramedics who had fever and respiratory symptoms.
They say the patient, a man in his 50s, was screened and recent travel history to Wuhan, China, was confirmed and the patient was immediately put under isolation.
“Diagnostic testing was conducted, and specimens were sent to the Public Health Ontario Laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. On Saturday, January 25, the Public Health Lab confirmed the case as a presumptive positive case,” stated the province in a release.
Officials said the man is now in stable condition, and they are continuing their investigation into the case.
Toronto Public Health said that the man recently returned from Wuhan/China on China Southern Airlines flight CZ311, which arrived in Toronto on January 22 from Guangzhou.
Like the province, Toronto Public Health also added that the risk to the community remains low.
The first patient is in stable condition and remains in hospital.
“There has been a tremendous amount of learning since the 2003 SARS crisis, which has helped prepare us for a situation like this,” said Dr. Jerome Leis, Sunnybrook’s Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control, in a statement on Saturday.
“We followed our usual practice of systematic screening which allowed is to rapidly identify this patient, send appropriate testing, and institute the necessary precautions. I feel confident in our ability to respond appropriately and limit the spread of infection.”
Sunnybrook said it remains open and clinics and procedures will continue to operate as per normal, adding that the hospital is safe for patients and visitors.
Over the weekend, the province launched a website dedicated to coronavirus in Ontario.
Symptoms of the illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and most cases have been linked to the Huanan Seafood Market (also known as Wuhan South China Seafood City and South China Seafood Wholesale Market), according to the Government of Canada.
Some cases, however, have not been linked to the market, and the virus’ source is still unknown. The seafood market has reportedly been closed since January 1 for cleaning and disinfection.
“Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed human-to-human transmission has occurred; however there is no clear evidence that this virus is easily transmitted between people at this time,” states the federal government.
“The overall risk to Canadian travellers and to Canada remains low.”