- Though there are no reports that the new coronavirus has reached Canada, Montreal's Trudeau Airport and local hospitals are taking precautions to screen for potentially infected individuals.
- The first report of the coronavirus in the United States has just surfaced.
Montreal area hospitals and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport are on alert after the World Health Organization encouraged countries to take precautions in response to a new coronavirus. With three possible cases of the virus in Canada ruled out by government health officials, no one is taking any chances. Travellers will submit to a health screening at the Trudeau Airport, as well as the major hubs in Toronto and Vancouver.
The WHO is considering whether or not to declare coronavirus a global health crisis and will meet on Wednesday to determine their course of action. Health officials say that there have been over 275 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
Canada's top health authorities assure the public that there's no reason to panic over coronavirus in Canada, according to CTV News.
However, one case of the virus was confirmed in Everett, Washington, only two hours away from the Canadian border. The patient arrived before health officials began screenings at major airports and they're in stable condition.
This new coronavirus is a respiratory virus in the same family as SARS and MERS. It's easily transmitted from person to person and manifests itself in flu-like symptoms such as coughing, fever, and respiratory difficulties.
In extreme cases, coronavirus can result in kidney failure, pneumonia, fluid buildup in the lungs, and death.
While there are no cases in Montreal, Quebec public health officials have issued a "call to vigilance" for hospitals and medical professionals.
According to the Montreal Gazette, officials at the Sainte-Justine Hospital will be isolating patients who display symptoms or who have travelled to China in the past two weeks. The MUHC is also taking the same measures.
MTL Blog has reached out to the MUHC for more information on its precautions.
While there's no need to panic, it's recommended that you take precautionary measures against potential coronavirus contraction. The virus is easily transmitted, so always wash your hands and be as sanitary as possible.
Health experts are able to diagnose the virus, but unfortunately, there is no treatment or immunity against the virus. Leo Poon, the scientist who discovered the virus, says that it likely originated in an animal and was transmitted to humans.
Airports in Asia are on extremely high alert and are using every measure available to screen passengers.
Here in Montreal, Trudeau Airport officials worry if the airport is adequately equipped to properly screen a passenger's body temperature.
Air Canada has daily flights from China to Montreal, so airport authorities will have their work cut out for them.
As of now, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Montreal or anywhere in Canada.
If you feel flu-like symptoms, stay home and rest. For severe symptoms, visit your local hospital.