Coronavirus risk low here, but take precautions

View of the Glen site in Montreal. (Photo courtesy of the MUHC)

Late last month, only one case of COVID-19, or Coronavirus disease, was detected in Montreal, so the level of risk of more cases here and across Canada is said to be low.

Still, in possible anticipation of more, the Quebec government has prepared two facilities in Montreal at the Jewish General and Sainte-Justine hospitals, to receive patients that test positive for the virus and require hospitalization.

Travellers should be aware that health advisories have been issued warning that the virus has been detected in seven countries: China, where it was first identified, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Northern Italy, Singapore, and South Korea. When travelling, or on your return, if you become sick you should contact a health professional to explain your symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

For example, the first case here is  that of a woman who flew from Iran to Qatar before returning to Montreal late last month.

She went to an outpatient clinic with minor symptoms, was given a mask, then put in isolation at the Verdun hospital for tests, before being placed in isolation at home awaiting results from the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, which were positive.

Among precautions suggested by health professionals is to frequently and thoroughly wash hands for a good 20 seconds and avoid handshakes and kiss greetings, because you can contract coronavirus after coming into contact with an infected person.

There is no vaccine or treatment to prevent the coronavirus. If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, or questions, call 811 to speak to an Info-Santé Nurse.

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