June 30, 2015
While Canada’s risk for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus importation is low, the acquisition of other respiratory virus infections abroad or domestically after return to Canada may be fairly high and ongoing, according to recent data.
Researchers from Ontario’s public health department evaluated 177 travelers returning to the province between November 2012 and June 2014. These individuals were deemed persons under suspicion (PUIs) for MERS-CoV, based on Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care guidelines, and were recommended for isolation and screening for MERS-CoV and other pathogens. The mean age of the PUIs was 48.1 years; 56% were males, and 54.8% had returned from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. PUI identification peaked after the October 2013 hajj and after the May 2014 importation of the first two MERS-CoV cases into the United States.