Coronavirus Risk Remains Low in Windsor-Essex

AM800-NEWS-Wajid-Ahmed-Windsor-Essex-County-Health-Unit-December-17-2018

The local medical officer of health says a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) over the Coronavirus does escalate concerns.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed says he's not surprised by the declaration given the increase in the number of cases in China and in other countries.

But he points out the risk locally remains "very low," adding Windsor-Essex is prepared just in case.

"It definitely escalates the concerns and would force us to be prepared as best as possible, we have been in contact and working with our health care partners  to prepare for a case if anything shows up here in our community," says Dr. Ahmed.

He says there has been good communication between the different local agencies to prepare for a suspected case.

"I think the risk to our community is still very low and we are making sure that we are prepared in case if we have a case or suspected case in our community."

Dr. Ahmed says the hospitals, primary care and EMS have a plan in place in case someone shows up at a doctor's office or at the emergency department who meets the criteria that prompts further testing for Coronavirus and what that would look like operationally.

He says the key would be to limit the spread of the disease. 

The United Nations Health agency made the determination on Thursday after more cases of human-to-human transmission were detected.

So far, China has reported more than 10,000 people sick with the virus and 213 deaths.

So far, there have been three confirmed cases in Canada —  two in Toronto and one in Vancouver.