At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus was the cause of several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China.  The current situation is evolving and more information is expected in the coming days and weeks.  The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with this current novel coronavirus as low for Canada and Canadian travelers. Learn more about Ottawa Public Health’s most recent update on this situation.


What to do if you think you have been exposed to the novel coronavirus:

  • Individuals who have developed symptoms within two weeks of travelling to Wuhan, China are asked to go to the Emergency Room at their closest hospital.
  • Individuals who have been in contact with anyone who has developed symptoms within two weeks of travelling to Wuhan, China are asked to call the hospital or the medical clinic prior to arriving.


  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia and kidney failure


There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses and there is no vaccine that protects against coronaviruses.  Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own.

You should also:

  • drink plenty of fluids;
  • get rest and sleep as much as possible; and
  • try a humidifier or hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough.

When Visiting the Clinic

  • When booking the appointment, clearly state that you have a respiratory illness or tell reception right away when you arrive and wear a mask while waiting to be seen, and do not take it off unless asked to do so.
  • Use hand sanitizer upon entering the clinic, and again before you leave.
  • If you have a fever, are coughing or sneezing, please wear a blue facial mask the entire time you are in the clinic.
  • Wash your hands after using the washrooms.
  • Be considerate of others in the wait area, who may be in frail health and more easily susceptible to infectious diseases. Sit away from others, as much as possible, if you are sick.

Do Your Part

There are concrete steps you can take to prevent the spread of germs.  You can easily make infection control a series of healthy habits that will protect not only the ones you love, but everyone you come in contact with:

  • wash your hands often and thoroughly;
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can’t wash your hands;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands;
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue, your arm or your sleeve – not your hand;
  • stay home when you are ill;
  • avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick; and
  • get a flu shot every year at Family First Health Centre.

 It’s never too late to start healthy habits or to encourage them in others!

Source(s): Ottawa Public Health > Public Health Topics > Novel Coronavirus