Coronavirus: 2nd presumptive case in Toronto

Published On January 27, 2020 | By Madison Raye | News
A traveller wears a mask at Pearson airport arrivals, shortly after Toronto Public Health received notification of Canada’s first presumptive confirmed case of novel coronavirus. (REUTERS/Carlos Osorio)
Madison Raye

The deadly Coronavirus has now had two cases reported in Toronto and health officials are looking into anyone who was on the same flight as the two people infected.

After a flight from Wuhan, China landed in Toronto, a man reported himself ill and health officials said the man had become very sick within as little as a day.

According to Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief of Public Health Officer, the man showed mild symptoms on the plane but hadn’t reported his symptoms until a day after landing in Toronto.

The man’s wife has been reported as the second person in Toronto to possibly be diagnosed with the virus and has been in self-isolation since.

David Williams, Chief medical officer of health said in a released statement, “We are working alongside Toronto Public Health, who has been in regular contact with the individual during their self-isolation period.”

Still, not everyone agrees with the current approach to self-isolation when it comes to the Coronavirus.

Pierre Talbot, a professor and Director of the Neuroimmune virology Laboratory in Montreal, told Humber News on Monday that people should go to the hospital for treatment otherwise the virus could get worse and could lead to death as a result.

“People need to go to the hospital and be treated there. There is nothing at home that can be done there to protect these people from dying,” he said.

‘Not a good idea’

Talbot said that self-isolation is not a good idea and could leave room for the virus to get worse.

“Self-isolation is not a good idea, they should go to the hospital if they feel sick,” he said, adding that “they should not take that initiative themselves, that’s not a good idea.”

Williams said that people in Toronto are still at a low risk of obtaining the virus due to the isolation of the two individuals.

The virus that originated in Wuhan, China has quickly spread across the world.



Williams, Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health and Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto held a conference at Queen’s Park addressing the concerns surrounding the Novel Coronavirus.

Risk remains low

Williams said that the wife of the husband has been in self-isolation and the risk to all Ontarians remains low.

“All necessary protocols are in place to actively monitor, detect and contain the spread of this virus,” he said.

He assured that they are working closely with all levels of government to ensure that there will be a coordinated and active response.

He said that not all people that catch or contain the virus will have severe symptoms, including the woman who has come forward.

“As of today, she has not been in need of the same acute hospital care required by her husband who also remains stable,” Williams said.

Yaffe said that all cases that were reported in other countries were all travel related.

‘Limited transmission’

“We do know that there has been limited transmission of human to human in close contacts, cases as they say elsewhere have all been imported with a travel history,” Yaffe said.

While Williams and Yaffe address the current updates regarding the wife and husband that are in isolation, de Villa asks for the public to respect the couple and allow them some privacy as they are ill.

“I would respectfully ask the public to respect the privacy of the individual and allow them that opportunity to recover in hospital from there sickness,” de Villa said.

Toronto Public Health continues screenings at airports as well as health care facilities to help identify potential cases of the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus.

The public were advised again at the Monday press conference to remain cautious as they would around any flu season, wash their hands, cough and sneeze into their sleeve, and sanitize regularly while being mindful of their surroundings and what they touch.

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