First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Niagara, Ontario

Dr. Karim Ali, director, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Emergency

Investigation into the source for this person’s infection is currently underway. The person does not have any recent travel history

“The patient is currently in an isolation room undergoing treatment by our  infectious diseases team to manage his symptoms and is in stable condition.”                                                          – Dr. Karim Ali, director, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Emergency

News from Niagara’s Regional Government in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 13,2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Ontario – Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services is investigating a confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in an 84-year-old male. This is  Niagara region’s first case of COVID-19.

The patient was transferred to the hospital by EMS for another medical problem on March 10 and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on March 12.

Health care providers and paramedics who interacted with the patient prior to developing symptoms will self-isolate out of an abundance of caution.

“The patient is currently in an isolation room undergoing treatment by our  infectious diseases team to manage his symptoms and is in stable condition,” said Dr. Karim Ali, director, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Emergency Preparedness Lead. “We will continue to take every possible step to ensure the safety of our staff, physicians, patients and families.”

To protect the health of the public and prevent community spread, Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services is actively investigating and following up with close contacts. Investigation into the source for this person’s infection is currently underway. The person does not have any recent travel history.

However, a family member of the person recently returned from Portugal, and so the working hypothesis is that this family member is the source of infection.

The family member has now been isolated, and Public Health is working to identify all contacts for further follow-up.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Niagara Region’s Medical Officer of Health (acting)

“The health and well-being of Niagara residents is our top priority, and we work daily with local hospitals, primary care, emergency services, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and other provincial and federal partners in  response to this new virus,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, medical officer of health (acting), Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services.

“Despite Niagara having its first case, there continues to be no evidence of local circulation of the virus in Niagara or Ontario. The risk to Niagara residents therefore remains low.”

Contact Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services by calling 905-688-8248 ext. 7330 or toll-free 1-888-505-6074 if you have a fever, or new cough, or shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, and any of the following:

  * Travelled outside of Canada in the 14 days before onset of illness

  * Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19

  * Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who travelled to affected areas <https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#ath> within 14 days prior to their illness onset

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 is to:

 * Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub

  * Stay home if you’re sick

  * Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve

  * Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Use a disinfectant and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

  * Call ahead if visiting your health care provider for infectious symptoms so they can plan to protect others from spread

As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind everyone the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We update our website frequently as new information is confirmed.

We encourage all Niagara residents to visit our Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage  <https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/default.aspx>.

For information regarding travel, please visit the Government of Canada website  <https://travel.gc.ca/>.

Visit Ontario’s website​ <https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus> to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Watch video with Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji by clicking on the screen below –

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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