A Public Health Emergency of International Concern | Hygie Canada 

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A Public Health Emergency of International Concern


There’s lots of buzz going on worldwide following the emergence of a novel coronavirus outbreak, now known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, first identified in Wuhan, China. The virus causes a spectrum of mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The new virus was initially associated with a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, suggesting that the virus likely emerged from an animal source. Although it was not initially certain whether person to person transmission was possible, we now know that the virus has acquired this capacity for transmission. The question is how transmissible is it? It’s not yet clear how it spreads from person to person but it’s thought to be by droplets when in close and extended contact with a person who is infected with the virus. Genetic sequence of the virus has been completed and laboratory tests are now available for diagnostic confirmation. The situation is in constant evolution and the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO) reports 4515 confirmed cases globally and over 100 deaths (from Jan 28 reports) including the first confirmed case in Canada currently hospitalized in Toronto with appropriate isolation and infection prevention and control measures.

Health Canada Recommendations

With the amount of international travel in today’s world it’s not unexpected that a person with travel history and flu-like symptoms would turn up in Canadian emergency departments. In fact, the WHO noted that “further international exportation of cases may appear in any country, and that all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019- nCoV infection, and to share full data with WHO”. Canada has excellent Infection Prevention and Control practices and has certainly learned many lessons from SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003. The big lesson learned is to always be prepared for new and emerging pathogens.

Health Canada recommends following contact and droplets precautions by placing the patient in a single room and wearing gloves, a long-sleeved gown, a surgical or procedural mask and eye protection.

This can be an opportunity to test out preparedness plans and to serve as a reminder of the basic infection prevention and control measures to prevent infections: enhanced routine practices that reduce risk of contact with blood and body fluids, respiratory and cough etiquette and hand hygiene.

Rely on Hygie products

When it comes to facilitating the work of the healthcare professional, Hygie can offer effective solutions to improve patient experience and promote a safe environment by containing and managing body fluids. Not only are we leaders in Isolation products due to the fact that all of our products are for single-patient use but we also are a reliable company in terms of supply due to the following:

  • Our factory in Quebec manufactures 95% of our products, which guarantees a constant supply without fluctuations or delays even during a pandemic (where importations per example from China could become an issue)
  • As a proactive company, we also have an overstock in our warehouse for urgent or unexpected situations.