Toronto Public Health (TPH) says the wife of a man who was the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Canada has now been confirmed to have the virus herself.
Both patients recently travelled to Toronto from Wuhan, China, which is believed to be the epicentre of the outbreak.
“While we only learned the news of our first presumptive confirmed cases late during the weekend, staff have been working around the clock to immediately act on this information and reach out to close contacts,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health in a press release Tuesday.
TPH also established a hotline for people who people who travelled on China Southern Airlines flight to Toronto from Guangzhou. People who were on the flight can call TPH at 416-338-7600 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Health officials said most of the people who had close contact with the husband and wife have been contacted.
De Villa said the risk to the Toronto community is low.
“I want to remind residents that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus with prevention measures including wash your hands frequently, covering your cough or sneeze and staying home if you are ill,” she said.
Symptoms of the illness, according to Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, may take about two weeks to manifest and are similar to those of the common flu. They include coughing, a fever and a general feeling of malaise. Some people may have difficulty breathing.
Meanwhile, the first case of presumptive coronavirus in British Columbia was confirmed on Tuesday.
In China, the death toll has reached more than 100 people, while thousands of others are sick.
—With files from Ryan Rocca and The Canadian Press