The administrative head of the public health agency of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam, Ottawa, April 2019
January 22, 2020 12: 43
Updated at 16h02
The public health authorities in Canada are preparing for the sars coronavirus [VIDEO]
The canadian Press
Public health agencies in Canada are already preparing to fight against a new viral disease which had made up to Wednesday 17 dead in China and infected more than 500 people.
Public health agencies say they are waiting for the instructions of the world health Organization, which convened a group of independent experts, on Wednesday, to determine if the outbreak should be declared a “public health emergency of international concern”, because the coronavirus has emerged in other countries. Such global emergencies had been declared in the past for the Ebola virus in Africa and the virus Zika in the Americas.
Dr. Theresa Tam, director-in-chief of the public health agency of Canada, however, specifies that the risk to Canadians of contracting the novel coronavirus remains low.
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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 – the SARS – had been over 900 deaths in the world, 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.
He recalls that the front line staff in hospitals and clinics is already demanding to those who exhibit flu-like symptoms for their travel history in order to better diagnose and track the trace of the new virus.