The mysterious Coronavirus that has killed three and sickened more than 200 people in China can be transmitted between humans, according to China’s National Health Commission.
China’s health officials are trying to control the spread of the virus, as people will be travelling this week for Chinese New Year celebrations.
The outbreak of the illness started in Wuhan, China and has affected Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Authorities have confirmed that Japan and Thailand have also reported cases of the illness from infected travellers from China.
Airports in the United States and China have both taken action to check travellers for the viral infection and Canadian airports will soon begin scanning travellers as well.
Toronto Public Health said there is no concern in Canada and there have been no reported illnesses but they have been keeping a close eye around the airports as it is the ‘travel hub.’
The Government of Canada released a statement about the current outbreak and asks people who are travelling to Wuhan to stay away from farms which are considered a high-risk area as well as anywhere that animals may be slaughtered.
People have been informed to avoid contact with animals dead and alive, to avoid surfaces with animal droppings and anyone who is sick, especially if they have flu-like symptoms.
The Government also asks that travellers wash their hands, sanitize often, as well as monitor their health, being aware of the virus symptoms.
Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health released a statement addressing the concerns about the viral infection.
“At this point, while there are no cases of this illness reported in Toronto, the City has a well-developed response plan should the situation change,” it said. “In the meantime, we will continue to monitor and work collaboratively with our colleagues at the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Province who are the leads for this area.”
A total of 221 people across China have been infected and three people have died from the illness. The illness if untreated can become Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The last SARS epidemic was in 2002-2003 which also occurred in China and killed about 800 people.