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Toronto health officials monitoring undiagnosed viral pneumonia in China
In this Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, photo Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, second from right, accompanied by Secretary for Food and Health, Prof. Sophia Chan, right, reviews the health surveillance measures at West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong. (Hong Kong Government Information Service via AP)
TORONTO -- Toronto health officials are monitoring an investigation into an undiagnosed viral pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China.
The illness was first reported overseas last week and as of Sunday, there were at least 59 reported cases. Chinese authorities have asked the World Health Organization to help investigate the matter.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Toronto Public Health said they are not aware of any reported cases of the illness in Canada.
“The overall risk to residents is considered very low,” the release said. “Given that Toronto Pearson International Airport is an international travel hub, Toronto Public Health is actively monitoring this situation, along with provincial and national health agencies.”
Toronto health officials said that the emergence of the illness is occurring at the same time as flu season in the city—and the common flu can develop into pneumonia in serious cases. Symptoms of influenza include high fever, chills, sore throat, a cough and muscle aches.
It can take a week to 10 days to recover from the flu.
Health officials in Wuhan have said the most common symptoms of the viral pneumonia include a fever and shortness of breath. In a small number of cases, patients have developed lung infections.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health has said that while there are no cases of the illness in Toronto, the city has a “well-developed response plan should the situation change.”
There have been no reported deaths as a result of the illness.
With files from AFP news agency