Canada’s first “presumptive” case of the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 40 people in China and migrated to the U.S. and Europe was confirmed Saturday.
Not a lot of details are yet known but health officials said a man in his 50s travelled to Toronto from Wuhan, China, where the virus first surfaced.
The patient is in isolation in stable condition in a Toronto hospital, health officials said at a news conference just hours after the patient was transported to hospital.
Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott said “all systems of government (are) working together to protect all Canadians” from the flu-like virus.
The coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, corona is Latin for crown, has killed at least 42 people in China and more than 1,300 have been infected. Cities have been quarantined and China is building a 1,000-bed hospital for those who have contracted the virus.
Canadian health officials made preparations for weeks in case the virus was discovered in Canada.
Hospitals have been questioning patients about where they have travelled and are testing those who show symptoms of the respiratory illness. Symptoms include a fever, cough, difficulty breathing and pneumonia, kidney failure and death in severe cases.
Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen De Villa said officials are investigating who the infected person may have come into contact with, since the virus can be transmitted from one to another.
“Presumptive” means that a patient is showing strong signs suggestive of a particular illness.