Symptoms, diagnosis of coronavirus

OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer, Theresa Tam, says there is a low risk of an outbreak here of a coronoavirus that has killed least 17 people in China and infected another 500. Here are some of the other things she said on Thursday:

Symptoms — The coronavirus's symptoms are extremely similar to those of the common flu. Those include coughing, a fever and a general feeling of being unwell. Those infected could also have difficulty breathing. Those who have been infected will usually start to feel symptoms after about 14 days. Those who do not display symptoms are not considered to be infectious.

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Diagnosis — The first step is to identify a potential way a person might have caught this particular virus. This usually involves a review of the person's travel history to see if there is a link to Wuhan or another area of infection. Provincial health-care systems will then screen for common ailments such as the flu to determine whether that is the culprit. Formal tests for the coronavirus are being done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

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