A Toronto woman – one of the millions of people heading to China for the Chinese New year – said he was affected by an outbreak of coronavirus, which has killed 17 people in more than 570 confirmed cases.
Nancy Li traveled to the Chinese city of Guangzhou Wednesday night as the spread of SARS-like coronavirus and health officials in some places extend their checks to be improved.
“This is the first time I come back in five years, that’s why it’s very important for me to go,” Li told CBC News.
“I’m stocking up … face masks and hand sanitizers and gloves.”
Coronavirus strain, previously unknown to scientists, is considered to have emerged from the animal market in the central city of Wuhan, with cases now detected as far as the United States.
The World Health Organization has said it will decide on Thursday whether to declare a state of global emergency.
Wuhan shut down the transport network and advising residents not to leave the city, Chinese state media reported.
“For Lunar New Year, the human flow is out of Guangzhou into the inland. People are leaving Guangzhou to Wuhan, not the other way around,” Li said.
“If I was going to Wuhan I might really like, reconsider this trip. There will be a few people in Guangzhou this time of year.”
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada
Li said he will be in China for 10 days and more concerned about going through the airport, given the number of people passing through them, some of whom may have been to the affected area.
“I’ll go home and just basically spend time with my grandmother, it was OK,” said Li.
“I’m worried about airports and stuff.”
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada, but Li also concerned that there may be an intense screening in place by the time he returned to Toronto.
For those heading back to Canada after the celebration, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the medical officer of health for the City of Toronto, said he was the first suggestion that people who are healthy is to avoid contact with other people.
“Keep your illness to yourself,” de Villa said on CBC Radio Metro Morning.
“However, if you feel healthy enough that you feel you need medical attention, then do not seek medical attention,” he added.
“But make sure that you tell your health care provider, one, your symptoms, and, two, from the travel history, so it can be considered both in terms of diagnosing what may have and in terms of infection control and prevention.”
Authorities on high alert
He said authorities are also on high alert and make preparations in the event of a coronavirus come to Canada.
“I think we always thought that there might be some possibilities. We have a disease entity that we know have shown some degree of human-to-human transmission. How quickly, how easily it went from man-to-man is still being formed,” said de Villa.
“In a fairly mobile population, especially here in Canada in cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, we see a bit of international travel, so I was not too surprised to see some degree of movement of this virus and the appearance in the United States.”
At the same time, de Villa said Toronto has its share of experience of dealing with disease outbreaks.
“I think what is really important in our case in Toronto, given that we have so much experience – we have had the experience of SARS, … pandemic influenza in 2009, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2012 – we have a lot of experience dealing with a situation like this, so we feel that we have learned lessons from them and are ready to put their learning into action. ”
Ready to respond, saying the province
Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon, the Minister of Health Christine Elliott said while the risk posed by a new coronavirus for Ontarians remain low, the province is actively watching and ready to respond.
Speaking at a press conference, Premier explanation Elliott said Doug Ford and his cabinet colleagues earlier in the day on provincial efforts to monitor the disease and state of readiness to respond.
“It was a meeting of our government approved new measures to strengthen the ability of the ministry to monitor any cases of coronavirus by adding a new coronavirus as reported diseases designated under public health legislation in the province,” said Elliott.
“Now the doctors, hospitals and other health care facilities will be required to report suspected or confirmed cases of the new coronavirus for their local medical officer of health.
“The local public health unit can then be quickly and effectively take all necessary steps to investigate, complete laboratory tests and conduct a case and contact management to prevent and control the further spread of infection,” added Elliott.
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