Wuhan virus death toll rises above 100 as infection rates accelerate

Maggie Tu flew to Pearson International Airport from Beijing on Jan. 27 2020

Maggie Tu flew to Pearson International Airport from Beijing on Jan. 27 2020

The National Microbiology Laboratory has now confirmed the first coronavirus case in Canada.

That said, Canadian public health officials say they don't believe there needs to be a ban on flights from China at this point.

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday it had not recorded any new confirmed cases of a new coronavirus overnight since its last update of five, and said as many as 110 potential cases were under investigation.

Federal officials said Sunday that the man in his 50s, showed mild symptoms aboard the flight and public health workers were seeking to make contact with anyone who sat near him on the plane. As of Saturday evening, he was in stable condition in a negative pressure room, which is used in hospitals to contain airborne contaminants.

Dr. Jerome Leis of Sunnybrook said the presence of an infected patient at the facility has not prompted any changes in day-to-day operations, stressing the risk of general infection is low and the hospital remains safe for patients.

Since arriving in Toronto with her husband, she has been in self-isolation, Dr. Williams said.

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This new virus has non-specific symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Ontario's Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Barbara Yaffe says this isn't a surprise since the virus transmits through close human-to-human contact.

As Canadian health officials treat Canada's first diagnosed case of a new type of coronavirus spreading around the world, doctors are repeatedly stressing the fact that the risk of further transmission is quite low.

He said that given patterns emerging overseas, it is unlikely all 19 people under observation will be medically cleared.

An unnamed student, a 34-year-old woman, now in isolation, returned to the West African country from Beijing on Saturday.

Toronto Public Health is apparently working to identify any individuals the man may have been in contact with and is also monitoring members of the man's household who are said to be in self-isolation.

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But she said passengers who were on that flight, or others from China this week, and are not suffering any symptoms, should not panic. It is a main public health duty and they fully comprehend that even if such a case does come up it will be dealt with as it usually is.

Portugal's government aims to airlift citizens stranded in Wuhan, the city in China where a coronavirus epidemic originated that has already killed more than 80 people there and which has in the meantime been quarantined. However, because registration is voluntary, the numbers do not give a complete picture of how many Canadians live in the region or in China.

Only those who were seated in close proximity to the man are being contacted by health officials because the risk to others is low, Dr. Tam said.

In China, the number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 2,700.

Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, said many concerned people with no symptoms have been showing up to the hospital, anxious that they could be infected.

Champagne said that 250 Canadians in the affected area have now registered with Global Affairs, and 126 have requested consular assistance to get home.

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