Skip to main content Skip to Navigation Skip to Footer
page banner image

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are currently no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Porcupine Health Unit area. The risk to residents remains low.

Healthcare providers: please see Information on the 2019 novel coronavirus for health care professionals (Government of Ontario)

Update: Saturday, February 8, 2020

If you have travelled to Hubei province in the last 14 days, limit your contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that you left Hubei. This means self-isolate and stay at home. In addition, contact the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada.

All travellers from mainland China are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms and to contact the Porcupine Health Unit if they feel sick.

Even if you have not been to mainland China, should a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or any other symptom arise within 14 days after returning to Canada, seek medical attention. Inform your health care provider or the Porcupine Health Unit about symptoms and travel history.


Background

On December 31, 2019, cases of undiagnosed viral pneumonia were reported by health authorities in Wuhan, China. The cause was confirmed as a new coronavirus, known as the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19, which has not previously been identified in humans. 

What is the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory infection that originated In Wuhan, China. The first presumptive case of this virus in Ontario was identified on January 25, 2020.

To learn more about the 2019 novel coronavirus, visit ontario.ca/coronavirus .

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms range from mild — like the flu and other common respiratory infections — to severe, and can include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

If your symptoms feel worse than a common cold (for example, fever, cough, difficulty breathing) and you have travelled to an affected area (see ontario.ca/coronavirus for the currently affected areas) within 14 days of symptom onset, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or contact the Porcupine Health Unit. Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.

If you need immediate medical attention you should call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

How does the virus spread?

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre. The 2019 novel coronavirus has evidence of limited human-to-human transmission.

How can I protect myself against the 2019 novel coronavirus?

There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

If you are travelling to an area known to have cases of coronavirus, be sure to avoid:

  • high-risk areas such as farms, live animal markets and areas where animals may be slaughtered
  • contact with animals (alive or dead), including pigs, chickens, ducks and wild birds
  • surfaces with animal droppings or secretions on them

Can I receive treatment for the 2019 novel coronavirus?

There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, and there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.

If your symptoms feel worse than a common cold (for example, fever, cough, difficulty breathing) and you have travelled to an affected area (see ontario.ca/coronavirus for the currently affected areas) within 14 days of symptom onset, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or contact the Porcupine Health Unit. Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.

You should also:

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get rest and sleep as much as possible
  • try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough

For returning travellers

If you have travelled to Hubei province in the last 14 days, limit your contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that you left Hubei. This means self-isolate and stay at home. In addition, contact the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada.

All travellers from mainland China are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms and to contact the Porcupine Health Unit if they feel sick.

Even if you have not been to mainland China, should a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or any other symptom arise within 14 days after returning to Canada, seek medical attention. Inform your health care provider or the Porcupine Health Unit about symptoms and travel history.

What if I feel sick while travelling or after I get back?

If you become sick when you are travelling or after you return, avoid contact with others and call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or contact the Porcupine Health Unit.

Tell them:

  • your symptoms
  • where you have been travelling or living
  • if you have had direct contact with animals (for example, visited a live animal market) or close contact with a sick person
  • if you feel sick during your flight to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer.

Learn about travel advisories related to the 2019 novel coronavirus at: travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories/pneumonia-china.

What should I do if I think I have the virus?

If you develop symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1-866-797-0000 or contact the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.

Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.

If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.