Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

May 09, 2013 15:05 ET

Public Health Notice: Novel coronavirus

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) -

Why you should take note

Since April 2012, cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified in six countries: the United Kingdom (UK), Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and France. The cases in the UK and France were identified in travellers returning from the Arabian peninsula and neighbouring countries.

Coronaviruses are the cause of the common cold, but can also be the cause of more severe illnesses including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), with some cases resulting in death. Additional cases of this novel strain of coronavirus are expected. Official numbers are available here.

Risk to Canadians

The risk to Canadians is low as this virus does not appear to spread easily from person to person. We do not yet fully understand exactly how people become infected. Experts are still investigating its source and how it spreads. Currently there are no reports of anyone in Canada infected with this virus.
Canadians can help protect themselves against these types of viruses by following some general measures:

- Avoid close contact with anyone showing signs of illness (such as coughing and sneezing);

- Cough and sneeze in your arm rather than your hand;

- Wash your hands often thoroughly;

- Stay at home when sick.

Travel information

While the Agency is not advising any travel restrictions related to this event at this time, a Travel Health Notice has been posted to provide advice to Canadian travellers. We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and advise Canadians as appropriate.

What the Public Health Agency of Canada is doing

The Public Health Agency is monitoring this novel coronavirus outbreak. The Agency is working closely with its national and international partners to monitor and share information on events of this nature through collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). Two experts from the Agency are participating in the WHO's working group of technical experts to review different aspects of this event.

The full extent of this outbreak, the source of infection and the way it spreads from person to person are not fully understood. The WHO continues to work with relevant ministries of health and other international partners to support investigations to gain a better understanding of the disease and its risks.

Additional information

- Public Health Agency of Canada information on novel coronavirus

- World Health Organization information on coronavirus infections

Contact Information

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 941-8189