Coronavirus Covid-19 is Spreading

Infectious Diseases

Coronavirus Covid-19 is spreading, and there is growing public concern.


The WHO announced “COVID-19” as the official name of this new disease on Feb 11, 2020.

As of February 26, 2020, Canada has reported an additional three cases of COVID-19, bringing the total in the country to 12. Five in Ontario, and seven in British Columbia.

The newest case, reported February 26th, was a woman in her 60’s who recently travelled from Iran to Toronto. She was ultimately released and sent home to go into self-isolation.

The latest case from China is an adult woman who arrived in Canada on February 21 and presented at North York General Hospital’s emergency department at the advice of Telehealth Ontario with an intermittent cough that was improving.

As per established infection, prevention and control protocols, the patient was cared for at North York General Hospital using all appropriate precautions including being isolated and was tested for COVID-19. Being mildly ill, the woman was discharged home and, per protocols, went into self-isolation.

Given the individual’s clinical assessment and history, there is a low risk that she was infectious.

The individual followed all protocols and wore a mask throughout her travels back to Toronto and, since landing, the woman had very minimal exposure to others. Ontario is coordinating with local public health units to ensure that passengers in close proximity to the woman on the plane are contacted and monitored.


Three cases of Coronavirus Covid-19 are resolved

Ontario’s first three cases are all resolved, with each of those patients having two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

None became significantly ill.


British Columbia just announced a new case, it’s 7th.

In British Columbia’s newest case, the person affected was in close contact with the previously reported sixth case announced on Feb. 20, 2020. Both cases remain in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams.

Fraser Health is actively investigating and close contacts have been identified and contacted by public health officials.

Those who may be at risk are now in isolation for 14 days and are being actively monitored for symptoms daily.


The risk is still considered low in Canada

Overall, the risk of spread of COVID 19 within Canada continues to remain low at this time.

So far, no children have been infected in Canada, and all patients are in good health and stable condition.


However, we must remain vigilant

Given the changing dynamics of the outbreak in China and globally, and recognizing we are in the midst of influenza season, I continue to suggest that travellers who are returning to Canada, no matter where they were in the world, monitor themselves and their children closely for symptoms.

If any respiratory symptoms arise, limit contact with others and contact your primary care provider or local public health office. This is an important way to reduce the possibility of transmission of illness to others.

People who have travelled to mainland China in the past 14 days, are advised to monitor themselves and their children closely for symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough and breathing difficulties), and to contact their public health office if they have any concerns.

The most important measures you can take to prevent respiratory illnesses including influenza and COVID-19 are cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and staying home and away from others if you are sick.


Is there any treatment for this virus?

As reported in my earlier Coronavirus article, currently, there is no specific treatment for coronavirus covid-19 infections and most people will recover on their own.

There is no vaccine for this new coronavirus but researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Health have confirmed they are developing one.

Typically, treatment involves:

  • rest and medication to relieve symptoms.
  • using a humidifier can help to relieve a sore throat and cough.
  • drinking lots of fluids can help.


Stick with reliable information about the Covid-19 virus

For up-to-date information on this outbreak, we recommend:

1. The World Health Organizations Novel Coronavirus Information Page

2. The CDC Novel Coronavirus Information Page

3. Health Canada’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus infection Outbreak update page

And we will continue to keep you up to date!

There’s a far more dangerous VIRUS and it’s in your backyard.

As with all illnesses, if you are worried about your symptoms, you should see a healthcare provider.


Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Written By: Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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