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The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)



Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not.

Your risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. This may be the case for:

  • older people

  • people with chronic disease (for example, diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung disease)

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) causes a respiratory infection that originated in Wuhan, China.

The first presumptive case of this infection in Ontario was identified on January 25, 2020.

Current affected areas

The following geographic areas are identified as affected areas:

  • China (mainland)

  • Hong Kong

  • Iran

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Singapore

  • South Korea

Travellers returning from affected areas

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City, should:

  • contact their local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada

  • stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province

  • contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

Travellers who have returned from areas under a travel health advisory for COVID-19 should:

  • monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after leaving the affected area

  • contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or their local public health unit if they experience symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus

Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Laboratory testing

Testing is being conducted at the Public Health Ontario Laboratory, which is working collaboratively with the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

How Ontario is preparing

Ontario is working with its partners in the health care system implementing a robust plan to monitor for, detect and, if needed, isolate any cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus. The Ministry of Health is taking several steps to ensure the health and safety of Ontarians. This includes:

  • monitoring hospitals for potential cases of the virus in individuals with travel history to areas under a travel health advisory for COVID-19

  • adding the 2019 novel coronavirus as a designated disease reportable under Ontario’s public health legislation, enabling local public health units to quickly and effectively take all necessary measures to investigate, complete lab tests and do case and contact management to prevent and control further spread of the infection

  • ongoing planning with federal and provincial/territorial partners and readiness to coordinate with other provinces/territories

  • meeting with hospitals, paramedics and local public health units near Pearson International Airport to provide further information on the federal border screening measures

Symptoms and treatment

Symptoms range from mild – like the flu and other common respiratory infections – to severe, and can include:

  • fever

  • cough

  • difficulty breathing

Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, and there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.

You should:

  • drink plenty of fluids

  • get rest and sleep as much as possible

  • try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough

If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

How to protect yourself

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

  • avoid contact with people who are sick

  • stay home if you are sick

If you are travelling to an area known to have cases of coronavirus, be sure to avoid:

  • high-risk areas such as farms, live animal markets and areas where animals may be slaughtered

  • contact with animals (alive or dead), including pigs, chickens, ducks and wild birds

  • surfaces with animal droppings or secretions on them

Source : https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

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