Canada has had its first presumptive confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.
Toronto Public Health received notification of a resident who recently returned from Wuhan, China. The individual has been hospitalised and is in stable condition.
Toronto Public Health authorities say they are closely working with the local health care team and the resident to follow up with all their known contacts who may have potentially been exposed to this virus and to assess if there is a potential health risk. TPH has also activated its local preparedness and response plan.
It says although the risk of getting infected in Toronto remains low, the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been identified at the same time as local circulation of the flu. It has, therefore, advised residents to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the flu and other respiratory illnesses.
In the region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has urged countries in the Caribbean and Latin America to be prepared for the early detection and isolation of persons infected with 2019-nCoV, who may be travelling from affected countries.
PAHO reported that up to Friday, there were some 846 confirmed cases of infection globally, including 830 cases from China. Some 177 of those cases were deemed severe and 25 people died. Of the confirmed cases, 80 per cent were people over the age of 40 and 64 per cent were men.