Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced Ontario’s first presumptive confirmed case of Wuhan novel coronavirus in Toronto.
On Thursday, January 23, 2020, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre admitted a patient brought in by paramedics who presented with fever and respiratory symptoms. The patient was screened, recent travel history to Wuhan, China, was confirmed and the patient was immediately put under isolation. The hospital and paramedic service took all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of staff and other patients.
Diagnostic testing was conducted, and specimens were sent to the Public Health Ontario Laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. On Saturday, January 25, 2020, the Public Health Lab confirmed the case as a presumptive positive case.
“All appropriate infection prevention and control measures were followed by both paramedics and the hospital,” said Dr. Williams. “Toronto Public Health is conducting case and contact management and Ontario is in touch with our federal counterparts to help determine exposure to other individuals on the flights.”
Recently, to strengthen the province’s ability to monitor any coronavirus cases, the Ministry of Health added novel coronavirus as a designated disease reportable under Ontario’s public health legislation. Because of this, and other protocol and procedures that Ontario has in effect, the case was quickly identified and protocols for protection of health care workers and the public was immediately enacted.
“Although there is now a presumptive confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Ontario, I want Ontarians to know that the province is prepared to actively identify, prevent and control the spread of this serious infectious disease in Ontario.” said Elliott. “I want Ontarians to know that their health and wellbeing is my top concern. Ontario has robust processes in place, skilled clinicians and dedicated health workers to identify and manage this and any future cases safely and effectively. We have specialized units within our hospitals to deal specifically with these types of cases when they arise.”
The ministry has been and will remain in constant contact with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and other jurisdictions to monitor the developing situation and safeguard the health of all Ontarians, as well as to ensure our shared efforts to protect the public are coordinated and effective.
To help educate Ontarians about Wuhan novel coronavirus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they suspect they may be at risk, the province has launched a dedicated webpage. Moving forward, each weekday this web page will be updated with the most up-to-date information on the number of cases under investigation and those that have been confirmed.