The novel coronavirus outbreak is continuing to increase worldwide. On Thursday, January 30, 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of February 11, 2020, there are seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in Canada – three in Ontario and four British Columbia. At this time, there are still no confirmed or probable cases in Alberta. The public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk for Canada as low. 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Although rare, other types of coronavirus infections cause illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The current outbreak is a novel coronavirus (2019 n-CoV) that does not appear to be as severe as other coronaviruses such as SARS. Many patients have reported only mild symptoms but there is evidence of person to person spread.

Symptoms of coronavirus infections

Coronavirus infections are common and typically lead to the common cold. Gastrointestinal disease is possible for young infants. Symptoms are usually mild to moderate and can include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fever
  • a general feeling of being unwell

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following:

  • stay home while sick
  • avoid close contact with others
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if you are concerned about your symptoms.  If you have a fever and/or cough or shortness of breath and have travelled anywhere in China within 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms, please call your health care provider.  If you have contact with anyone with a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus infection or visited a health care facility known to have treated novel coronavirus cases within 14 days prior to the onset of your symptoms, please call your health care provider.

Business travelers:

The Travel Advice and Advisories are the Government of Canada’s official source of destination-specific travel information. We encourage the research of current risk level(s) and follow the appropriate recommendations.

The health and safety of our clients remain our greatest concern. If you have an upcoming appointment and have any questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus, please contact our team as soon as possible.

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