Coronavirus: 56 dead and 1,975 infected as Canada reports 1st case

Canada announced its first case of the Coronavirus on Saturday, adding to an outbreak that has already claimed the lives of 56 people and sickened at least 1,975 others since it originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The majority of the infections and all the deaths have been relegated to China's mainland thus far, but a new case has sprung up in Canada, according to The Associated Press.

Canada's first case was reportedly discovered in Toronto on Saturday. Officials said the patient is a man in his 50s who recently traveled from Wuhan to Guangzhou, China, and then to Toronto on Thursday.

This map shows confirmed cases of the virus around the world, including the two in the U.S. -- Chicago and Seattle, respectively.

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Australia and Malaysia also reported their first cases on Saturday -- four each -- while Japan added its third. The first signs of the virus to appear in Europe occurred in France, which confirmed three cases on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

Most coronaviruses cause only mild symptoms, similar to that of the common cold. Other strains, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), can cause pneumonia and death.

Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus in a subway station, in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The first case of coronavirus in Macao was confirmed on Wednesday, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The infected person, a 52-year-old woman, was a traveller from Wuhan. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus in a subway station, in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The first case of coronavirus in Macao was confirmed on Wednesday, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The infected person, a 52-year-old woman, was a traveller from Wuhan. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, began at an animal and seafood market in Wuhan and has spread to several other countries. The illness is said to be transferable between humans.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath. There aren't many preemptive steps that can be taken to avoid infection, other than practicing basic sanitary measures on a regular basis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands regularly and avoiding contact with other sick people who are recovering from an illness. It also suggests avoiding touching your eyes and face, along with keeping objects and surfaces in your home or workspace clean and disinfected.

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There is no vaccine to protect against the virus, although the National Institutes of Health had confirmed to Fox News that they were in the “early stages” of developing one, and officials are hoping a lockdown placed on 13 cities will help contain the virus from spreading further.

China's leaders have made major efforts to contain the spread of the virus, including the immediate construction of a 1,000-bed hospital to accommodate the growing number of patients.

The hospital will be constructed out of prefabricated buildings to accelerate the timetable, according to state media.

Fox News' Alexandria Hein and The Associated Press contributed to this report