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Toronto confidently prepared if coronavirus cases surface

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Toronto confidently prepared if coronavirus cases surface – Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa along with Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, held a press conference information on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to assert that they are prepared and ready if any possible cases arise.

The medical officials cite the 2003 SARS breakout that killed 44 people in the GTA for enabling them to put the resources in place to handle a similar breakout.

Toronto confidently prepared if coronavirus cases surface

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams was very quick to point out, “We are ready and we are prepared.”

“Our preparedness is set in place. Through SARS, and through all the work later, we have set in place standard policies and procedures,” said Williams, who reasserted that resources are already in Ontario hospitals as a result of the implementation of Public Health Ontario (PHO) following the SARS outbreak.

While Dr. de Villa said “We are focused on making sure we are doing what we can to protect the health of the residents of our city.”

“Everyone knows the policy and procedures. Staff in different settings and leadership are making sure there are places in order to respond to people under investigation, which is mostly what we’re doing now.”

It’s what we do ever day

“This is what we do every day. It is core public health work and we anticipate if a case arises it is business as usual,” said de Villa. “Managing communicable diseases is exactly what we do each and every day. If we get a confirmed case we will manage that through the public health system as we always do each and every day,” emphasised de Villa.

The range of illness profiles and symptoms with respiratory viruses varies person to person but people more susceptible are the elderly or those with pre-existing heart and lung conditions.

Dr de Villa says, “currently, there are no laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Toronto, and the overall health risk to residents remains low.”

“We will let you know if the situation changes,” De Villa said.

Infection prevention and control

Toronto’s Medical Health Officer advises the following prevention methods for good hugeience practice in prevention of a virus. Take the flu vaccine wash hands often, use alcohol-based sanitiser, cover your cough or sneeze and stay home if sick.

She also advises that those travelling should learn how to best protect themselves.

“At Toronto Public Health, we are updating our website regularly with new information as quickly as it becomes available. The provincial Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada are also great sources of information,” De Villa added.

They now have better international communication, explained de Villa and this novel coronavirus identification has happened much sooner than when SARS broke out worldwide so they are already have prepared the lab to test and assess.

The novel coronavirus, is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV” by the World Health Organization. There are more than 830 confirmed cases of infection, worldwide including two cases in the United States (Washington and Chicago) and at least 26 people have died. A total of 8,420 people are reported to be under observation.

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