• Myrna Driedger


Province of Manitoba Media Bulletin

January 31, 2020

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus a global emergency.  However, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living public health officials reminds Manitobans 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 Jan. 30, three tests have been completed for the novel coronavirus in Manitoba.  At this time, there are no laboratory-confirmed cases in Manitoba. All patients seeking care at health-care facilities for fever or respiratory symptoms and have travelled in the past 14 days to the province of Hubei, including the city of Wuhan, in China, or who have had close contact with an ill person who travelled to that region, are being assessed for the novel coronavirus.  Those who meet the criteria will be placed in a designated separate waiting room.  Appropriate infection prevention and control measures will be put in place while the patient receives care including the use of surgical masks in hospital.  If a case is confirmed by laboratory testing, public health will promptly followup with close contacts to take appropriate precautions and monitor for symptoms. 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. Suspected and confirmed cases of novel coronavirus are required to be reported to Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer.  To date, three cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Canada. Individuals with recent travel to the province of Hubei, including the city of Wuhan, in China or contact with a recent traveller who currently have symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, should contact their health-care provider or Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free). Common prevention measures for viruses, such as the novel coronavirus, influenza and others include regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser.  It is important to wash 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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