Thursday, May 9, 2013

Canada Travel Health Notice - Updated 9 May 13

Since April 2012, cases of the novel (new) coronavirus have been identified in six countries: the United Kingdom (UK), France, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The cases in the UK and France were identified in travellers returning from the Arabian peninsula and neighbouring countries.
Some of the infections have occurred in clusters through family contacts or in a health care setting. This suggests that the virus can spread between humans, however, there has been no sustained person-to-person transmission and the risk of contracting this infection is still considered to be low.
For the latest updates on coronavirus including the total number of cases and deaths please visit the World Health Organization’s Global Alert and Response websiteExternal link.
Coronaviruses are the cause of the common cold but can also be the cause of more severe illnesses including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). At this time, there is still more to learn about this novel coronavirus. All cases have experienced influenza-like illness including signs and symptoms of pneumonia which may include coughing, mucous, shortness of breath, malaise, chest pain and/or fever.
The World Health Organization continues to work with relevant ministries of health and other international partners to support investigations to gain a better understanding of the disease and its risks. There continues to be no travel restrictions as the risk to travellers remains low.


Consult a doctor, nurse, or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
  1. Protect yourself and others from the spread of germs and influenza-like illness
    1. If you are sick with influenza-like symptoms, delay travel or stay home:
      • Travellers should recognize signs and symptomsExternal link of influenza-like illness, and delay travel or stay home if not feeling well.
      • Travellers should note that they may be subject to quarantine measures in some countries if showing flu-like symptoms.
    2. Wash your hands frequently:
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands as germs can be spread this way.  For example, if you touch a doorknob that has germs on it then touch your mouth, you can get sick.
      • By washing your hands with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds, you will reduce your chance of getting sick.
      • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. It’s a good idea to keep some with you in your pocket or purse when you travel.
    3. Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:
      • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs. Remember if you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
    4. Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  2. Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations
    • There is no vaccine for this novel coronavirus, however, it is important to be up-to-date on all of your routine and recommended vaccinations, including this year’s seasonal flu vaccine, prior to travel.
  3. Monitor your health

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