The World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus to be "a public health emergency of international concern," on Jan. 30.
Even though the risk of an outbreak in Canada “remains low,” health authorities are still trying their best to control the novel coronavirus that has infected thousands around the world.
Human-to-human transmission has proven possible, but so far all the reported cases in Canada have involved people who have visited China, most notably the centre of the epidemic in Wuhan.
As people continue to be tested for the virus, here’s a list of the confirmed cases in Canada:
Fifth case in British Columbia
Date reported: Feb. 14
Health officials have announced another “presumptive” case of COVID-19.
The woman is in her 30s and returned to Vancouver from Shanghai in the past week. She wore a mask while traveling on the returning flight, and notified health officials of her symptoms. She eventually tested positive Feb. 11.
Health officials are now in the process of contacting passengers who were three rows in front and behind the woman on her flight back to Canada. The risk that they also contracted the virus is “very, very low.”
43 cases on a cruise
Date reported: Feb. 5
Updated: Feb. 18
At least 43 Canadians have tested positive for the novel coronavirus on a cruise ship that is holding its passengers under quarantine off the coast of Yokohama, Japan.
The ship is carrying 2,666 guests, along with 1,045 crew members, and was put under quarantine on Feb. 4 after a confirmed outbreak was reported. The 43 Canadians are among at least 540 people who have tested positive for the virus.
Canada is currently preparing a charter flight, set to depart Feb. 20, that will evacuate those haven’t tested positive for the virus. Japan will also start allowing healthy passengers to disembark the cruise ship on Feb. 19, since it’ll mark the end of their 14-day quarantine.
Two more cases in British Columbia
Date reported: Feb. 6
B.C. has identified two more people who contracted the novel coronavirus. They are in relation to the case they reported Feb. 4.
“Further investigation within that household has identified that two people, who are both visitors from Hubei province, were in contact with the individual who was the case that we announced on Tuesday,” said British Columbia’s chief medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “These two visitors are a man and a woman in their 30s.”
All three individuals are now recovering in self-isolation at home.
Date reported: Feb. 4
A second case of coronavirus has been identified in the Vancouver Coastal Health region of B.C., according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
A woman in her 50s was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus after her test came back positive.
Local health officials are following up with her close family, friends and anyone she may have had contact with.
Date reported: Jan. 31
Ontario health officials have reported the province’s third coronavirus case.
The woman, who is in her 20s and studies at the University of Western Ontario, recently travelled to Wuhan, China.
She left Wuhan on Jan. 22, and started to develop symptoms on Jan. 24. She went to a local hospital, but wasn’t admitted, because she was not ill enough. Instead, she went into self-isolation at home, and hasn’t visited her university’s campus since returning from China.
The student originally tested negative for the illness through Ontario’s labs, but a federal lab in Winnipeg confirmed that she was in fact positive with the coronavirus. Ontario health officials said on Jan. 31 that she “fully recovered” in three days from her “mild” illness.
Third case reported in British Columbia
Date reported: Jan. 28
British Columbia reported the first Canadian case of the novel coronavirus outside of Ontario.
The 40-year-old man often travels to China, which included Wuhan in his most recent visit. He contacted health-care providers on Jan, 26 to let them know that he was experiencing symptoms, 24 hours after coming home to the Vancouver region. He was reportedly not symptomatic on his flight.
The man, who’s case has been confirmed, is currently in isolation at home, while his family is also being monitored by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Date reported: Jan. 27
The wife of the man who was the first reported case of the coronavirus in Canada has also been officially diagnosed.
The Toronto woman travelled to Wuhan, China with her husband, and returned to Ontario on Jan. 22. Toronto Public Health has reached out to those who sat in a two-metre radius of the couple on their China Southern Airlines flight CZ311.
She is also recovering at home in isolation with her husband.
First case in Canada
Date reported: Jan. 25
The first case of the coronavirus in Canada involved a man in his 50s who arrived to Toronto on Jan. 22, after visiting Wuhan.
The man initially didn’t report his mild symptoms at the airport following his flight, but health authorities were contacted on Jan. 23, after his symptoms worsened at home. He was taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, but has since been discharged, which has allowed him to return home to recover in self-isolation.