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Risk low for Saskatchewan residents to catch coronavirus: health officials

Risk low for Saskatchewan residents to catch coronavirus: health officials
WATCH: While numerous factors suggest the risk of the new coronavirus affecting Saskatchewan is low, he Ministry of Health has alerted all emergency rooms in the province in case extra precautions need to be taken.

As confirmed cases of the coronavirus continue to rise globally, the risk to Canadians including those living in Saskatchewan remains low.

“The average person on the street doesn’t need to be concerned because there’s no transmission happening in Canada,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, chief medical health officer with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.

“The concern at this point is for people who are travelling to China and specifically Wuhan [in Hubei]. Those people need to understand what the symptoms are and what to do if you are ill.”

READ MORE: MAP — Where China’s coronavirus has spread to so far

Shahab says the risk remains low to those in Saskatchewan because there are no direct flights to China’s Hubei province where the new strain of coronavirus was first reported.

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Nevertheless, alerts have been sent to all emergency rooms in Saskatchewan so that if a person shows up with a travel history to Wuhan or was in close contact with someone from there, they will be put through additional testing and precaution.

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While the virus has spread to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, there have been no further transmissions in those countries said Shahab.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 3 Canadian airports ramp up screening process for travellers

The chief medical officer is reminding those who are travelling to always check the government of Canada’s website.

“If you do travel, avoid live animal markets, wash your hands often…and avoid close contact with people who are visibly sick,” Shahab said.

The death toll from the new flu-like coronavirus in China has killed at least 17 people in China with 444 confirmed cases, Chinese health officials said on Wednesday.

Should Albertans be worried about contracting coronavirus?
Should Albertans be worried about contracting coronavirus?