'No probable, no confirmed cases': Alberta remains free of coronavirus
EDMONTON -- Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health says there have been "no probable, no confirmed cases" of the novel coronavirus in the province.
The announcement comes hours after British Columbia announced its first presumptive case of the virus, and third in Canada.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw says while it's possible Alberta could see travel-related cases, the likelihood of that happening has not risen.
"Even if we did see a case that came into Alberta that was travel related, the risk to Albertans remains low," she said.
"The risk that they would be exposed to this virus is extremely low."
Dr. Hinshaw encouraged Albertans to take precautions by washing their hands, covering their sneezes and avoiding sick people.
"We are taking this very seriously," she said.
In Ontario, two cases have been recorded. One case has been confirmed while the second is considered presumptive positive.
Symptoms of the virus include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell.
The outbreak of the virus began on Dec. 31 with what was initially believed to be a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, the capital city of China's Hubei province.
Officials have since confirmed the patients were actually infected with a virus never previously identified in humans, which has been dubbed the 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV.
Coronaviruses are a "large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases," according to Health Canada.
To date, the virus has infected more than 4,500 people and is blamed for over 100 deaths.
With files from the Associated Press