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24 Jan 2020 | 06:53 AM UTC

Canada: Screening measures implemented in airports January 22

Screenings being implemented in Canadian airports amid ongoing Wuhan coronavirus outbreak January 22

health
transportation
CAN

Event

Canadian Border Services Agency stated on Wednesday, January 22, that it has implemented screening measures for travelers entering Canada amid the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. For the moment, the measures only entail additional questioning for incoming travelers to verify whether they have visited Wuhan or other cities affected by the outbreak. The affected airports are Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL), and Vancouver (YVR) international airports.

Further spread of the illness is possible over the near term, particularly during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday. 

Context

As of January 24, cases of the virus have been confirmed in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the US, and suspected cases have been reported in Singapore and Australia. The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 26 people and infected 876 others across China.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Individuals who plan to travel to or have recently returned from China, particularly Hubei province, are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate additional security checks at the airport. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease.