News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

February 7, 2020

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS BULLETIN #2



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Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living and public health officials are reminding Manitobans that the risk of getting the novel coronavirus in Manitoba remains low.  Manitoba officials continue to work closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor the situation as it evolves.

As of Feb. 5, 10 tests have been completed for the novel coronavirus in Manitoba.  At this time, there are no laboratory-confirmed cases here.

Suspected and confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are required to be reported to Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.  To date, five cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Canada.  All confirmed cases are in Ontario and British Columbia.

In light of the evolving knowledge of the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, PHAC is recommending that travellers who have been in the province of Hubei, including the city of Wuhan, self-isolate for 14 days following arrival in Canada.  PHAC is also recommending that travellers returning from the rest of mainland China self-monitor for 14 days following arrival in Canada.

Early evidence indicates the novel coronavirus can cause a range of mild to severe symptoms.  It is possible that individuals will not recognize when they first develop symptoms because they can be similar to a cold or flu.

The steps to limit contact with others if you are self-isolating include:
•    avoiding individuals with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems and senior citizens;  
•    avoiding having visitors to your home;
•    avoiding situations such as social gatherings, work, school, daycare, health-care facilities and seniors residences;
•    avoiding taking public transit, taxis and ride sharing;  
•    washing your hands often with soap and warm water frequently for at least 15 to 20 seconds; and
•    covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If recent travellers develop a fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing in the 14 days following their departure from province of Hubei, including the city of Wuhan, or from the rest of mainland China or if they have been in contact with a case who has, and they are seeking health care, it is important to call ahead.  Individuals can call to their local urgent care centre or emergency department or Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free).

At this time, public health officials are not recommending use of masks in public places, as there is no evidence that wearing masks significantly reduces the risk of getting the virus.

Common prevention measures for viruses, such as the novel coronavirus, influenza and others.  include regular hand washing with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser.  It is important to clean your hands:
•    after coughing or sneezing;
•    when caring for a sick person;
•    before, during and after food preparation;
•    before eating;
•    after toilet use; and
•    when hands are visibly dirty.

Additional precautions include covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.  Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing.

PHAC has issued travel health notices about coronavirus.  For more information, visit https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/210?_ga=2.260947853.1094428749.1578423601-32662530.1555003301.

For links to more information, visit the Manitoba public health website at www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/coronavirus.html.  

For health questions or more information on respiratory illness, Manitobans can phone Health Links–Info Santé at 788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free).

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