Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s first ‘presumptive’ coronavirus case

A case of novel coronavirus was presumptively confirmed in Toronto on Jan. 25. 

Here’s what we know so far:

What do we know so far about this case?

A man in his 50s travelled from Wuhan to Guangzhou, China before arriving in Toronto on Jan. 22. Public health officials say he became ill within a day and self-reported by having a family member call 911.

The emergency service was aware of his travel history. They used full precautions,” said Dr. Barbare Yaffe of Toronto Public Health at a Saturday press conference. 

The man was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital with fever and respiratory symptoms, and is currently in stable condition in a negative-pressure room, with staff taking precautions.

A test from the Public Health Ontario Laboratory confirmed the diagnosis. Toronto Public Health has been speaking with the man to determine exactly who he’s had contact with.

“The last word I heard was there was very little by way of contact,” says Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health.

She added that their understanding is that the man took “private transportation” home, not mass transportation.

“But we are absolutely making sure that we get the history of all the places the individual has been. That’s part of regular public health practice, in order that we can then determine who needs to be informed and what sorts of measures they need to take,” she said.

Yaffe says it’s important to keep the situation in context. 

“The evidence to date is that this is not easily transmitted between people,” she says. Transmission, she said, is “mostly to very close household contacts.”

This man’s household contacts are a “very small number of people” who have already been put into self-isolation and are being monitored.

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