This story will be updated as new information is released by officials.
As news of the new coronavirus spreads, so are reports of people across the country being tested.
But getting tested isn’t necessarily a confirmation of the virus. The symptoms include coughing, fever and difficulty breathing so it’s likely that many people will get tested as a precaution. Public health officials report a case of the virus when it’s “presumed” confirmed and when it’s officially confirmed.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China. As of now, all Canadian cases of the virus involve people who have travelled to the area. Canadian public health officials maintain that the risk of contracting the disease is still pretty low here.
What does a ‘presumed’ case mean?
A “presumed confirmed” means that the patient has tested positive at a local laboratory, but no cases are “officially” confirmed until a second test in Winnipeg at the National Microbiology Laboratory, a section of the National Collaborating Centre For Infectious Diseases. The Canadian government is keeping track of all cases on this website.
Ontario: 3 confirmed cases
Canada’s first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus was “presumed confirmed” in Toronto on Jan. 25.
The man from Toronto, who is in his mid-50s, was tested days after returning from Wuhan, where he had been 14 days prior to becoming ill. His case was confirmed in Winnipeg a day after he was provincially tested. The patient is being treated in an isolated “negative pressure” room at Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital.
Health officials say the man had shown mild symptoms on his flight back. The public health agency has been tracking down those onboard that same flight, who travelled from Guangzhou, China to Toronto aboard China Southern Airlines. The man was discharged on Jan. 31 after his condition improved.
On Jan. 27, a second patient tested positive for the virus — the first patient’s wife. She also arrived in Toronto with her husband from Wuhan and placed herself in “self-isolation” since her husband was diagnosed.
On Jan. 31, officials announced a woman in her 20s in London, Ont., had caught the virus after visiting the affected area in China, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the province to three, and the total for the country to four.
Initial testing in Ontario showed the woman was negative for the virus, but tests at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg came back as “weakly” positive. On Feb. 12, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health confirmed there were two negative tests for this case at least 24 hours apart, meaning the individual is no longer considered infectious and the case is “now resolved.”
Ontario is keeping track of all novel coronavirus cases here.
British Columbia: 5 confirmed cases
On Jan. 28, health officials said a Vancouver-area man in his 40s is presumed to have the virus. The man works regularly in China and had been in Wuhan in the 14 days prior to becoming sick. He showed symptoms within 24 hours of returning. On Feb. 19, officials confirmed that the man had fully recovered and was no longer in isolation.
On Jan. 29, the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg confirmed the man’s case as the new strain of coronavirus.
On Feb. 4, a woman in her 50s from the Vancouver-area was presumed to have the virus. The province’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said the woman was hosting people from the Wuhan area.
The woman’s guests, who are still in Vancouver, were quarantined and tested. The woman was in self-isolation at home where Henry said she is in stable condition and being actively monitored.
On Feb. 6, Henry confirmed two of the guests, a man and a woman, were also presumed positive for the virus.
Officials are confident one of the newly diagnosed people is the source of the virus in that household, she said, adding he’s a young, healthy man who had a very mild illness and did not seek medical attention.
All the people in the household are isolated in a home and being monitored by the Vancouver Coastal Health authority, she said.
On Feb. 14, officials announced a woman in her 30s who had returned from Shanghai, China, in the past week through Vancouver’s airport had been presumed confirmed for the disease.
She travelled home by car, wore a mask on the plane and contacted health officials when she had symptoms of an illness.
“We are very grateful and thankful that the people who are coming back from Hubei province and all over China are taking the advice seriously to self monitor and to connect with us and make sure that they can be tested, assessed and cared for safely,” Henry said.
The woman is in isolation at home, as are her close contacts.
Officials will be contacting passengers who sat three rows ahead and behind the woman on the aircraft that arrived from China but the risk to them is “very, very low.”
B.C. is keeping track of their novel coronavirus cases here.
With files from The Canadian Press