London

Local health unit investigating a number of people for coronavirus

There are fewer than five people under investigation for possible cases of coronavirus, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

The first London, Ont. coronavirus case is no longer considered infectious, say health officials

News of the possible coronavirus cases come as Ontario's chief medical officer Dr. David Williams said a lone confirmed case of coronavirus in London is no longer infectious. (Pierre-Olivier Bernatchez/CBC)

There are fewer than five people under investigation for possible cases of coronavirus, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

"The current folks we are investigating are low risk with regards to their probability of having the disease, and we continue to monitor them closely," said Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health.

Summers declined to provide a specific number individuals saying the number changes frequently given how many people return to Canada from affected areas in China.

"Those who have been traveling to China are informed to report to public health should they develop symptoms...such as a cough or cold," he said.  

The patients under investigation have either contacted health officials directly or presented their concerns in a health-care setting such as a hospital.

Patient cleared

This all comes as a case of coronavirus in London has been resolved, according to the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams.

Health officials confirmed the case, in a female Western University student, on Jan. 31.

Williams said in a statement Wednesday morning that the case had two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

"This means the individual is no longer infectious with the 2019 novel coronavirus," he said. "I want to reassure everyone that the risk from 2019 novel coronavirus to Ontarians remains low."

Health officials said the woman, in her 20s, travelled from Wuhan to Canada by plane on Jan 23, and then to London by car. Even though she didn't have any symptoms, Middlesex-London's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, credited her for going "above and beyond to protect the public" by wearing a mask and putting herself in self-isolation.

The case was considered unique because the patient tested negative for coronavirus after first being swabbed at London's University Hospital. A few days later, a second test showed a "low viral load."

The case was tested by the Public Health Ontario Laboratory and the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

China's National Health Commission said the number of deaths in mainland China has risen to 1,113, and that the number of cases has risen to 44,653, though the number of new cases reported in a 24-hour period has gone down.