The 59-year-old, who is head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and also holds the ancestral title of Royal Prince of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, told Austria's oe24 TV network that he tested positive for COVID-19.
"It's annoying, but I'm fine," he said. "It's not the Black Plague. I thought it was the usual flu. When a friend called me that he had a positive test at a congress in Switzerland, I was also tested."
The former Member of the European Parliament added he's not panicking because of his diagnosis and has praised Austria's handling of the pandemic. He says he's self-isolating as instructed and has someone leaving food at his door.
Karl is the first member of a royal family to test positive for the virus. Last week, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain were tested and found negative after Letizia met with a Spanish government minister who later came down with COVID-19. The King and Queen are staying home and are not attending royal engagements for the time being, on the recommendation of the Spanish government.
Royal families elsewhere continue to react to the global pandemic.
On March 17, Buckingham Palace announced several royal events have been cancelled or postponed for the time being. These include the Maundy Thursday service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, as have this year's Buckingham Palace Garden Parties, which the Queen hosts annually. Two additional Garden Parties that were to be given for the Not Forgotten Association and the National Trust have also been cancelled. All investitures that were to take place at the Palace will be moved to later dates.
The Chelsea Flower Show, which was scheduled to take place in May, has also been cancelled. The Queen will also move to Windsor Castle for her Easter break a week earlier. The Palace said it is likely she will stay there later than the holiday.
"As a sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances, a number of changes are being made to The Queen's diary," a statement from the Palace reads. "These include receiving the Prime Minister, the Commanding Officer of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and the Bishop of Hereford. Future Audiences will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the appropriate advice."
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla also postponed their upcoming tour of Cyprus and Jordan and the Duke of Cornwall's trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina due to the pandemic. The Earl of Wessex also postponed two engagements on March 16.
As of this writing, the World Health Organization says there have been more than 173,000 cases of COVID-19 in 152 countries. The illness has been responsible for more than 7,000 deaths. Canada has 424 confirmed cases, according to Health Canada.