Canada’s first coronavirus patient had mild symptoms during the the flight he took from China to Toronto.
Federal health officials said today they are trying to track down passengers who sat near him.
The man in his 50s had travelled to Wuhan, China, which has been ground zero for the outbreak, and arrived in Toronto on Wednesday, then taken to Sunnybrook hospital the next day.
At the news conference, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said there is a likelihood there will be more cases.
“It would not be unexpected that there would be more cases imported into Canada in the near-term, given global travel patterns.”
Tram emphasized the risk to Canadians from this new coronavirus remains low.
Authorities are calling the man’s case”presumptive positive” until lab tests confirm the illness. Results should be available on Monday.
In China, the country’s health minister said today the ability of the virus to spread appeared to be strengthening.
Health officials in Ontario confirm Canada’s first presumptive case of the new coronavirus has been detected in Toronto, a man in his 50s who had travelled to Wuhan, China.
The man is at Sunnybrook Hospital in a negative pressure room.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is caring for a patient who has a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.— Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (@Sunnybrook) January 25, 2020
The patient is in stable condition and has been admitted to an isolation room. More info: https://t.co/BDLgqfjAzw
Wuhan is where the deadly new virus originated.
Dr. Barbara Yaffee, the province’s associate chief medical officer of health, said the “risk to Ontarians is low” and the “system is operating as it should.”
In China, the death toll from the new virus stands at 51 with more than 2,000 reported cases.
The virus has also turned up in a handful of other countries including the U.S., Australia and France.
China’s president told a high-level meeting today that the country “faces a grave situation” and the spread of the virus is accelerating.