Quebec rules out coronavirus in patients under observation

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WATCH: Chinese authorities ramped up efforts on Friday to control the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, turning a toll gate leading into the city of Wuhan into a makeshift checkpoint – Jan 24, 2020

Canada has yet to declare any cases of the China coronavirus, as it continues to surface in Asia and the United States.

Six patients were being evaluated in hospitals in both Montreal and Quebec City over the past week.

By Thursday evening, five of the patients had been cleared while one remained under observation.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of public health, confirmed that all had tested negative for the virus on Friday.

READ MORE: No confirmed cases of coronavirus in Quebec, but airport and hospitals taking extra precautions

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Arruda said the patients had travelled to China and upon their return were showing symptoms of the illness which are similar to those of the common cold.

They include runny nose, headache, cough and fever. The coronavirus can also lead to shortness of breath and chills, and in very serious cases, it can cause pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney failure and death.

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The Quebec government has put in place several measures aimed at detecting potential cases of the virus in airports and hospital emergency rooms. Arruda said he expects to see more potential cases cropping up in the coming days and weeks.

“It shows that shows that our screening process is working,” he said.

READ MORE: What are coronavirus symptoms? In mild cases, just like the common cold

Arruda noted the efforts being made in China to contain the virus including shutting down transportation in Wuhan where the strain originated and the cancelling of New Year’s celebrations.

He added, however, that the government would continue to be proactive and vigilant and to monitor the evolution of the situation.

— With files from The Canadian Press, Global’s Dan Spector and Rachel D’Amore