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Canada hospital says it has confirmed case of deadly virus

Rob Gillies
Associated Press

Toronto – A Toronto hospital said Saturday it has a confirmed case of the deadly virus from China, Canada’s first.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre said it is “caring for a patient who has a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.”

Officials said the man is his 50s and recently flew from Wuhan, China to Guangzhou, China and then on to Toronto on Jan. 23.

Health surveillance officer use temperature scanner to monitor passengers arriving at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.

“He really wasn’t in Toronto very long. He wasn’t feeling well. I think he was at home and the people that live with him are in self isolation,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s Associated Chief Medical Officer.

The outbreak of the new virus originated in China, where it has infected more than 1,200 people and killed 41, and has spread worldwide.

Australia and Malaysia reported their first cases Saturday – four each –and Japan, its third. France confirmed three cases Friday, the first in Europe, and the U.S. identified its second, a woman in Chicago who had returned from China.

In Canada, while the case has been confirmed by a test in Toronto, officials said it has yet to complete separate testing by the federal government’s National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases in Winnipeg. The illness will officially be fully confirmed once it completes that testing.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said they are 95% sure it is the virus.

“This is the first presumptive confirmed case,” said Williams. “While we are convinced our tests do demonstrate positivity there is confirmation at the national medical laboratory in Winnipeg and once that is done is is a fully confirmed case.”

The man is now in stable condition in isolation. He was admitted to hospital a day after his flight to Toronto.

Mayor John Tory said health officials say the risk to the public is low.