Small number of patients screened for coronavirus locally

Windsor Regional Hospital Metropolitan Campus, February 1, 2018. Blackburn News file photo.

Fewer than 10 people have arrived at Windsor Regional Hospital in recent weeks under circumstances that prompted doctors to screen them for the coronavirus, or COVID 19.

A media statement today from the hospital said all of them tested negative.

Instead, they had the common cold, influenza A, or influenza B.

Officials at Windsor Regional Hospital have been watching the development of the coronavirus outbreak intently since the beginning.

Early on, CEO David Musyj assured residents the hospital patients who had recently been in China or was in contact with someone who had travelled there, and had flu-like symptoms would be screened. If necessary, he said those patients would be isolated to prevent the spread of the virus.

Friday, the statement said influenza remains the more significant issue facing local health officials.

A situation report from the Ontario Ministry of Health said there are seven confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Canada. Four of those cases are in Ontario and so far, three patients have recovered. Another nine patients in the province are being tested.

Earlier this week, doctors in China loosened the criteria for classifying infections. Instead of waiting for lab results to confirm diagnoses, doctors were diagnosing patients on the spot. CNN reported the change in methodology accounted for a spike in cases.

According to CNN, Mainland China recorded another 5,090 infections Thursday, bringing the global rate to 64,435. Deaths are now 1,383, including three outside Mainland China. Those diagnosed with the virus include 1,700 Chinese health workers, of which six have died.