A woman who recently travelled to Iran has been confirmed as the newest presumptive case of COVID-19 in Toronto, health officials confirmed.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health for Toronto, said that on the evening of Feb. 24 a woman in her 60s went to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s emergency department with a travel history to Iran.
“A thorough medical assessment was completed and COVID-19 testing was initiated,” de Villa told reporters at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
De Villa said the woman became sick after arriving in Toronto. Her symptoms at that time her symptoms included a cough, sore throat, body aches and occasional fever,” de Villa added.
They added that the woman was discharged the same day and told to self-isolate at home as part of the protocol. The hospital said the patient did not require admission to hospital.
De Villa also said two other members of the woman’s family are also currently in self-isolation.
Toronto Public Health said it is actively looking at who the woman was in contact with, including following up with the infected individual and her close contacts, de Villa added.
The virus sample is awaiting confirmation and has been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.
“At this time, the virus is not circulating locally,” de Villa said. “However we do know that there is some global activity happening and global transmission.”
“We have a very mobile population, with a lot of international travel.”
“So with this in mind, we are actively working with our city partners, our provincial partners and other health partners to plan for the potential for local spread.”
Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, was also at the news conference and re-iterated that the “risk to Ontarians is low and we’re still in the containment aspect.”
This is Toronto’s fourth case of the coronavirus and the fifth case in the province.
Four people in Ontario had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, including a married couple in Toronto, a Western University student in London, Ont., and another Toronto woman after all of them had recently returned from travelling in China.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected about 81,000 people. In Iran, there are 95 confirmed cases and the virus has killed 16 people in the last week.