Coronavirus outbreak sickens dozens in Canada, including in Canada

The first case of the rare coronavirus, which has killed two people in Saudi Arabia and Canada, has been confirmed in Toronto, the city’s public health agency said Friday.

It marks the first time an outbreak of the virus that caused symptoms similar to SARS has been found in Canada. Only one person infected with the virus in the United Kingdom was hospitalized.

The new case of the illness was identified last week at a Toronto nursing home where two patients at the facility died. The illness has not yet been described as SARS or MERS, the other two coronaviruses that have killed patients. However, officials have said that the acute respiratory illness it shares with the current severe acute respiratory syndrome — as SARS is generally known — is similar in its structure and is “fairly novel.”

Officials have been on the lookout for those who traveled to certain countries in the Middle East and have come into contact with the patients at the nursing home. The Toronto Public Health Services wrote in a statement that it has been working to keep it to one person and 10 people who have traveled to and are suspected of contracting the virus.

A total of more than 300 people have fallen ill with the illness since 2017, the Toronto Public Health Service said. It said that all laboratory-confirmed cases in Canada have been found to be travel-related.

The coronavirus began affecting people in September 2016. No cases of acute respiratory illness have been recorded in Canada since February 2017.

Deaths and cases of SARS have steadily declined since its rise in 2002.

The World Health Organization in February said the most recent infections and deaths were linked to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the virus that caused severe acute respiratory illness and death in more than 800 people worldwide, many of them in affected countries in the Middle East. The agency said that there is now an ongoing outbreak of SARS in Saudi Arabia.

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