Trudeau airport, Quebec hospitals take precautionary measures over coronavirus
There is 1 reported case in U.S., according to CNN. None in Canada to date
Quebec's public health minister says doctors in the province's hospitals are prepared should any instance of a new coronavirus originating in China be detected.
"Our specialized doctors, our teams are very sensitized to the situation," Public Health Minister Danielle McCann said.
There have been no reported cases of the virus in Canada. CNN has reported that in the U.S., one case was detected on Tuesday.
The virus, which originated in China's Wuhan region, has infected 258 and killed six as of Jan. 21.
There have been cases reported in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, all connected to people who had travelled from mainland China.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, told reporters Monday that travellers will be asked at electronic immigration kiosks if they have travelled to areas affected by the coronavirus in the last 14 days.
They will also be reminded to report flu-like symptoms to border services agents.
"With that information it becomes more efficient for us to be able to follow up and ensure that those who are sick at the borders are taken care of," Tam said.
Signs about the virus will be posted at international airports in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
Because of where the virus originates, Canadians will not have much immunity against it, said Dr. Caroline Quach, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Saint-Justine Hospital.
She said hospital employees have been asking patients whether they have been travelling and where as soon as they enter the hospital.
"If we need to admit you, if we have to do any tests on you, we will put you in isolation and make you wear a mask," Quach said.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They cause a range of illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases — such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
For their part, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they will begin taking passengers' temperatures and asking travellers about symptoms at New York City's Kennedy airport, as well as the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports.