First “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus confirmed in Ontario

The coronavirus is named after its shape which resembles the corona of a star. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Ontario public health officials have confirmed a “presumptive positive” case of the coronavirus at the Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

On Thursday evening, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre admitted a man in his 50s who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China. Within a day of returning to Canada, he began experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms. The man is now in stable condition and has been admitted to an isolation room.

After diagnostic testing was conducted, specimens were sent to the Public Health Ontario Laboratory to confirm the diagnosis.  Health officials were notified of the lab results on Saturday afternoon.

“All appropriate infection prevention and control measures were followed by both paramedics and the hospital,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David 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.”

The Ontario Ministry of Health is working with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Toronto Public Health, Sunnybrook Hospital and other jurisdictions to manage the case and prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

“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 Deputy Premier of Ontario, Christine Elliot.

“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, said Elliot. We have specialized units within our hospitals to deal specifically with these types of cases when they arise.”

Dr. Williams insisted that the risk to Ontarians is still low.

More than 1200 people have been infected around the world and at least 41 have been killed in China of the virus.

For more information on the virus visit www.ontario.ca/coronavirus