Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) is actively monitoring the situation with the novel (not before seen or identified) Coronavirus. At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada states that the risk to Canadians is low.
While the risk is low at this time, infection prevention and control strategies are in place at SLMHC. Precautions in place include patient screening and isolation of anyone with presumptive coronavirus. Please expect to be asked about cough, fever, and travel if you are required to visit the hospital.
What is the Coronavirus?
People around the world commonly get infected with human coronavirus. The virus usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China, is being referred to as the Novel Wuhan Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. As of January 29, there have been two confirmed cases in Ontario. The Ministry of Health is offering up-to-date information on their website at https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov. For more information about our region, please visit the Northwestern Health Unit’s website at www.nwhu.on.ca.
How is it spread and treated?
Human coronavirus most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands, and rarely fecal contamination.
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms;
- take pain and fever medications (Caution: do not give Aspirin to children).
- use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider.