DATE: February 3, 2020
TO: Health and Social Services Directors
FROM: First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission
SUBJECT: Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
A new coronavirus was detected in the city of Wuhan, China. The start of the outbreak caused by this new 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is strongly associated with exposure to a seafood and live animal market located in this city. The discovery of the first cases was reported on December 31, 2019 and the market was closed on January 1, 2020.
The mode of transmission is not yet well known. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed human-to-human transmission. Research is underway to learn more about the modes of transmission and virulence of 2019-nCoV.
Since January 30, 2020, the WHO has declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak in China to be a public health emergency of international concern.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed that the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV is low for Canada and for Canadian travelers. A risk assessment will be carried out as new information becomes available.
- The risk of travelers importing the 2019-nCoV is currently considered low but cannot be completely ruled out. If a case were to be confirmed in Quebec, the risk of transmission of the disease in the communities would also remain low.
- In Quebec, as of January 29, 2020, no probable or confirmed case of the 2019-nCoV has been reported.
- The health authorities want to reassure the public about the current situation. The health risk to Canadians remains “low” due to the measures that have been implemented at airports and hospitals across the country.
- We remind you that it is Quebec’s responsibility to disseminate the relevant information on the 2019-nCoV to all health service providers in order to ensure effective intervention. Information tools intended for the population must also be accessible to all.
- Since the situation is evolving rapidly, we encourage you to consult the following sites to stay up to date on new developments:
- Information for the public (Government of Quebec): https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/
- Information and tools for health professionals in Quebec (French only): https://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/professionnels/maladies-infectieuses/coronavirus- 2019-ncov/#outils-d-information
- Government of Canada – Outbreak update: https://www.canada.ca/en/public- health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
- World Health Organization – situation reports (English only): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation- reports
If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Marie-Noëlle Caron, Public Health Advisor, at 418-842-1540, ext. 2707, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.