Mysterious virus chinese: five people under surveillance in Quebec

Mystérieux virus chinois: cinq personnes sous surveillance au Québec

These travellers from China have taken precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has sickened hundreds of people in the asian country and caused 17 deaths.

January 22, 2020 16h43

Updated at 21h31


Mysterious virus chinese: five people under surveillance in Quebec

Jocelyne Richer

The Canadian Press


There are five people who are currently under surveillance in the hospitals of Quebec, in connection with the coronavirus that sows the seeds of concern in China.

For the moment, nothing indicates that these people have actually contracted the potentially deadly virus, but they come from China and have symptoms of respiratory diseases, which deserve to leave nothing to chance.

They are currently under observation in hospitals in Montreal and Quebec city.

In total, over the last few days, six travelers from China were the subject of a review of the medical authorities. One of them has already obtained his leave, on Wednesday, the tests being negative.

This information was provided Wednesday by the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda, in a press conference.

The latter has sought to be reassuring, saying that everything was in place in the health network to respond quickly if there is ever a case of coronavirus was detected in Quebec.

Instructions have been given to detect any problems in the airports and in emergency rooms of hospitals.

The main symptoms are fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

In the region of Wuhan, in China, the spread of the new virus has sickened hundreds of people and left 17 people dead up to now.

The intervention of Mr. Arruda has occurred while in Geneva, the world health Organization (WHO) should determine if the outbreak should be considered as a “public health emergency of international concern”.

Anyway, Quebec is already in a state of alert. “We act exactly as if it was an international emergency,” observed Mr. Arruda, given that regular travellers returning from China, and “could have the disease”.

“We prefer to err on the side of leaving a case to walk in the community,” he commented.

Mystérieux virus chinois: cinq personnes sous surveillance au Québec

At the Los Angeles airport, passengers protected themselves with masks.

AFP, Mark Ralston

In terms of the level of risk in Quebec, Mr. Arruda has described the current situation of “significant supervisory” and not context “epidemic”.

At the present time, there is no reason to recommend to Quebecers not to travel in China, he said. However, travellers who are preparing to travel there should exercise caution, avoid bird markets, the fish markets and the contacts with the animals in the markets.

For his part, the chief medical officer of health of Ontario, David Williams, says that the country is much better placed to respond to the outbreak that 17 years ago, when the severe acute respiratory syndrome — SARS — had made at least 774 deaths worldwide, including 44 in Canada, in the greater Toronto area.

Dr. Williams explains that the researchers have already identified the new coronavirus, and a method for the test is already used, which was not the case for the early stages of the SARS epidemic in 2002.

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