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Diagnosis and management of first case of COVID-19 in Canada: Lessons applied from SARS

March 9, 2020

Sunnybrook’s Infection Prevention and Control team reports on the diagnosis and management of the first laboratory-confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Canada.

In the manuscript, which was published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the authors call for scalable and sustainable preparedness for COVID-19 and beyond.

“In the face of an impending pandemic of COVID-19, the diagnosis and management of this first Canadian case provides hope that we can limit the burden of healthcare-associated infection seen during SARS,” says Dr. Xavier Marchand-Senécal, lead author and infectious diseases fellow at Sunnybrook.

The authors noted several key differences in Sunnybrook’s preparedness for COVID-19 versus SARS in 2003, including:

  • A more robust infection and prevention and control team
  • Febrile respiratory illness surveillance
  • Rapid and accurate diagnostic testing
  • A well-established hand hygiene program
  • Twice as many airborne infection isolation rooms
  • The existence of a pandemic plan

Read the manuscript