WINNIPEG -- Manitoba health professionals say the health system is prepared if the novel coronavirus comes to the province.

During a news conference on Thursday, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Brent Roussin said Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, along with the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada is monitoring the situation of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

"Currently the risk to Manitobans remains low. We are being really vigilant to ensure we identify a case as soon as possible should one present," said Roussin. "We are already planning for this; we are prepared for a suspected case and have contingencies in place to deal with it."

Roussin said health care providers have been told to watch for relevant symptoms and travel histories that may identify the virus. These symptoms are a fever and acute respiratory illness, and recent travel within 14 days to Wuhan, Central Hubei, China.

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Anyone who shows these symptoms will be placed in immediate isolation to stop the further possible spread.

The novel coronavirus is a part of a larger family of viruses that can cause illnesses from the common cold to something more severe.

Health Care providers have been told to watch for the symptoms and must report any suspected cases to the province.

"The big goal is to eliminate and reduce any secondary spread of this virus should a case be detected."

Roussin said as of Thursday, there have been no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Manitoba or Canada, though there are cases in other provinces being monitored.

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The chief health officer added precautions nation-wide have been taken to stop the spread – which includes stopping all direct flights from China.

He said Manitoba is checking-in and receiving updates daily with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Roussin encouraged those thinking of traveling to China to keep an eye on Health Canada's travel advisories.

-with files from CTV's Michelle Gerwing