In a recent press release from the Government of Saskatchewan, public health officials say there are no reported cases of a novel coronavirus in Saskatchewan as of Feb. 13 but residents are warned to stay aware of the symptoms associated with the virus.
Despite the province’s low risk, public health experts are encouraging residents to remain prepared and informed about the virus to protect against any potential spreading of illness.
“While the risk to residents in Saskatchewan remains low, we are working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada on preparedness, procedures and reporting to quickly identify and manage any cases that present for care,” said Saskatchewan Ministry of Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab, in a press release.
As of Feb. 10, there were 15 persons under investigation for potential coronavirus infection. Only one case remains pending results; the other 14 have been confirmed negative for coronavirus.
The public is strongly encouraged to watch for potential symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.
There is currently no approved vaccine to protect against coronavirus, so residents are advised to protect themselves as they would from any kind of respiratory illness.
This includes avoiding coughing or sneezing anywhere except into your elbow, washing hand often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, maintaining safe food practices, and avoiding your eyes or mouth with unwashed hands and avoiding close contact with those who are ill.
There is also no evidence that wearing a surgical mask will protect against the respiratory virus, and the World Health Organization advises against doing so unless you exhibit respiratory symptoms.
Anyone who has travelled to the Hubei province in China, including the city of Wuhan, is asked to self-isolate from the public for a minimum of 14 days. If any symptoms appear, such minor ones such as fever or cough, call HealthLine 811 for further assessment and direction.
Anyone who has been in contact with someone ill with coronavirus should also self-isolate, and those who have travelled from other parts of China recently should closely monitor for even minor symptoms.
Information about the coronavirus is available online at www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus, with links to resources from the Government of Canada. Data on pending coronavirus cases in the province will be updated every Wednesday.
More information about symptoms and protection measures can also be found at the above link, in both English and Chinese.