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Novel Coronavirus

Archived Statement

Novel Coronavirus

Statement from Dr. Arlene King, Chief Medical Officer of Health

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in collaboration with Public Health Ontario (PHO) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), is closely monitoring the small number of cases of novel (or new) coronavirus reported globally.

To date, there have been no cases of novel coronavirus detected in Ontario or Canada and the risk to Ontarians of contracting this virus remains very low.

Although the majority of cases identified are in individuals who have travelled to or reside in Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Qatar, two recent cases in the United Kingdom appear to have acquired the virus through contact with a relative with recent travel history to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

While the recent cases identified in the United Kingdom suggest evidence of person-to-person transmission, no sustained transmission has been identified.

No special travel restrictions have been implemented and Ontarians are advised to follow normal precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of germs and influenza like illness, including: frequent hand washing, proper cough and sneeze etiquette and up-to-date immunizations.

Coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild upper respiratory illness, such as the common cold. Although rare, some strains of coronaviruses produce more severe illnesses, and could cause death.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will continue to work with our health partners to monitor this issue and will continue to share any further advice or updates with health professionals and the public.

To keep informed on any new developments, please visit Information for Health Workers regularly for updates.

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