Passengers wear masks as they arrive at the international arrivals area at the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., Thursday, January 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

With at a half-dozen possible cases of coronavirus being investigated in Canada, authorities are trying to screen people coming into the country for symptoms.

International airports in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have added messaging about the spreading virus to signs and kiosks, and travellers are asked to informed border agents if they have symptoms.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, symptoms can include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and a fever in milder coronavirus cases, while serious cases can cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) , which can could lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure and death.

Although the World Health Organization did not declare a global health emergency due to the disease, more than 500 people have been infected in China after the outbreak started in the city of Wuhan.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher witnesses coronavirus terror in Shanghai

More than a dozen people have died in China as of Thursday and Canadian authorities are monitoring five to six possible cases in the country. There are suspected cases in Ontario, Quebec and one in the Vancouver area. American authorities have confirmed one case of coronavirus in Washington State.

READ MORE: U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver airports have been identified as the most likely entry point for coronavirus. Additional health screening questions have been added to kiosks, informing travellers about coronavirus and asking them if they’ve been to Wuhan.

If a traveller shows signs of the virus, the Canadian Border Services Agency is the first point of contact under the Quarantine Act, and will conduct a preliminary screening. If the CBSA officer suspects an infection, they can contact a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) quarantine officer

The quarantine officer will do a more detailed assessment about where the traveller has been, when they were there and what symptoms they may have, the agency said.

“If deemed necessary, the quarantine officer can then take the appropriate measures to address the potential public health risk,” PHAC said in a statement. Those measures included ordering the traveller to be transported to hospital to undergo a medical examination and to report to the local public health authority.

READ MORE: One person in Vancouver being monitored for coronavirus, feds say

READ MORE: Risk to Canadians of Chinese coronavirus low, health minister says


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake waiting for better days

Local businesses are used to weathering the ups and downs of summer

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all Canadian workers

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Last day of classes moved to June 19 for Sylvan Lake students

Classes for students in Chinook’s Edge and RDCRS will end a week early on June 19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Canada Pension fund manager posts 3.1 per cent annual return for 2019-20

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board releases report

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Most Read