Sask. hospitals put protocol in place to spot potential coronavirus cases

It starts with a cough and fever, but can have deadly consequences.

The coronavirus has traveled from Wuhan, China to the United States. 

Seventeen people have died so far worldwide from the virus and hundreds more have been infected, with one confirmed case in Seattle. 

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said that more screening will be done at airports for people who have traveled from China — especially Wuhan. 

"When you're travelling back, follow instructions of the authorities as you depart, which may include delaying your travel if you're sick. If you become sick while travelling, let the airline staff know," Shahab said.

Dr. Shahab said that there are now special provisions in place in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto airports. He also said there are no direct flights from Wuhan to Canada.


An alert has been sent out to Saskatchewan hospitals so that if a person shows up with symptoms, their travel history will be recorded. They will be asked if they have traveled to Wuhan, or have had any contact with someone who has traveled to Wuhan. After that tests, precautions and, if necessary, isolation will occur. 

"Make sure that you are seen in a way that doesn't expose other patients. The proper testing is done and you may be asked to stay home if you well enough to stay at home for up to two weeks," said Dr. Shahab. 

"If you present in hospital, you will be isolated for up to two weeks because the general understanding is - that is how long it's infectious at the moment."