A woman in her 20s has been confirmed by health officials as the third case of the new coronavirus in Ontario on Friday.
The patient returned from Wuhan, China — which is said to be the epicentre of the outbreak — to Toronto and took a “private vehicle” to London, Ont. Officials said the woman was asymptomatic when she arrived on Jan. 23, however, they said she began to exhibit symptoms of the virus the next day and went to the hospital.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said the woman originally tested negative for the virus, however, after additional testing, he said she was found to be positive by the National Microbiology Lab.
Williams said the national lab “uses a more sensitive test that can identify the smallest trace of the virus.”
Officials said the woman had limited exposure to other people since returning from China and has since been in isolation, except for time spent in the hospital. The woman’s recovery was quick and she was fully recovered within two to three days.
Western University issued a statement Friday confirming the woman is a student of theirs but said she has not been on campus since returning from China. The statement said the Middlesex-London Health Unit confirmed there is very low risk to Western students.
“I want to re-emphasize that the risk to Ontarians remains low,” said Williams. “It is clear that we are learning more and more about the coronavirus each day, and our testing procedures are evolving and getting more and more precise, which is good news for everyone throughout Ontario and Canada.”
Williams said in order to keep the community informed, a new category of “presumptive negative” will be used in the province’s reporting of the virus. Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada
On Friday, a man in his 50s, who was the first confirmed case in Canada, was released by Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
He and his wife, who was diagnosed shortly after her husband, are said to be recovering at home in isolation.
The couple had recently travelled from Wuhan.
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.
The symptoms include coughing, a fever and a general feeling of malaise. Some people may also have difficulty breathing.
There are now four cases of coronavirus confirmed in Canada, with B.C. confirming a case on Tuesday.
In China, the death toll has reached more than 200 people, while thousands of others are sick.