MERS Update: Outbreaks continue to be reported across North America, but the numbers are looking up

Ontario is now reporting 356 new cases of the coronavirus, known as MERS, since the first case of a person being infected with MERS infection in Canada was reported to the province in August….

MERS Update: Outbreaks continue to be reported across North America, but the numbers are looking up

Ontario is now reporting 356 new cases of the coronavirus, known as MERS, since the first case of a person being infected with MERS infection in Canada was reported to the province in August.

That case was in Shanghai.

The number of Canadians being infected is down from its peak of 1,317 infections reported between November 2014 and April 2015, though there are still nearly 600 confirmed cases, according to figures from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This map shows where cases have been reported in Canada, since Feb. 2, 2015.

The numbers may be looking worse, but experts say the number of new cases reported is still very low.

“Right now there’s no indication that it’s getting any worse. It’s just that this is only a baseline in these numbers,” says Peter Openshaw, director of infectious diseases at the Toronto Western Hospital, who has worked to study the coronavirus for the past three years.

Ontario’s health minister, Eric Hoskins, told reporters that testing completed Friday showed that a patient at the Ottawa Hospital died from complications of MERS on Feb. 20, just nine days after they were admitted to the hospital.

“We have confirmed for the first time that the outbreak that started at The Ottawa Hospital has spread to four additional sites around the region,” he said.

The province says it’s still doing additional testing to determine how the patient became infected.

So far, little information has been made public, aside from the fact that it was first reported from the Ottawa Hospital and that two staff there had become sick. Doctors have yet to determine how many people contracted the virus in those cases.

It’s not known how the virus began to spread. The World Health Organization says the coronavirus is transmitted person-to-person via close contact, and is most often transmitted through the respiratory tract in patients with respiratory diseases. However, it also has shown clear presence in other organs in other people, including the kidneys, liver and skin.

The world is no stranger to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)–Switzerland reported more than 800 cases in 2002–when a sudden outbreak in Asia spread to the southern United States, killing seven people, before the virus was finally declared over in 2003. SARS infected more than 7,000 people and killed 370, some of whom had no apparent respiratory symptoms.

Although Canada’s SARS outbreak can’t quite be compared to the severity of the spread of SARS, Canada has shown a clear strength in dealing with its own outbreak of a new virus, says Dr. La Rue, the chief public health officer for the Yukon Territory.

“We have a lot of tools. We have a lot of experience with MERS and SARS and this Canadian approach is much better than the old kind of lone-wolf approach,” he says.

MERS also has an association with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, another respiratory disease spread through infected camels. A Saudi Arabia outbreak of MERS sickened at least 10 Canadians and led the organization of Canada’s federal government to send in 100,000 cases of the MERS vaccine in 2016, one of the largest such shipments ever.

While Saudi Arabia sent the Canada donated vaccine to staff at the Toronto Zoo, which no longer has any cases of MERS, the vaccine is still being used in the zookeepers in the animal kingdom at the Toronto Zoo, which has 27 camels infected with MERS.

At this time, the number of animals infected in the United States seems to be waning. Nineteen cases of MERS have been reported so far in 2019, compared to 189 cases in 2018.

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