Airport passengers line up for entry to Canada, where screening has been in place since novel coronavirus was identified in China. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

B.C. coronavirus testing continues, still only one confirmed case

International emergency measures aimed at poorer countries, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. public health officials have tested 114 patients for Wuhan coronavirus, with no new positive tests since the one patient identified last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday.

A “handful” of those tested were identified at Vancouver International Airport, where flights from China continue by airlines other than Air Canada, Henry told reporters at a briefing at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Most have been identified by doctors at offices and hospitals based on presenting similar influenza-like symptoms and sent for testing.

Henry said the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global emergency from the new virus does not change anything for Canada or B.C., which already has the recommended measures in place. It is directed at less developed countries such as India where modern health care is not as widely available, she said.

Canada’s measures were set up 10 days ago, and that means B.C. and other Pacific Rim regions are at a “critical stage,” where travellers would be starting to show symptoms of coronavirus, Henry said. The incubation period for the new virus has been averaging five days, and most infected people would notice they are ill after 10 days.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has a frequently updated web page on the novel coronavirus. As of Friday, it reported that outside of mainland China, there have been 152 confirmed cases and no deaths.

The first B.C. patient continues to be stable and recovering at home, and testing will continue with any suspected cases to stop it spreading, as was done with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) when it emerged in 2003, said Henry, who worked on the SARS epidemic.

RELATED: U.S. confirms first coronavirus case near Seattle

RELATED: No Canadian travel ban for people from Wuhan

Health Canada describes typical symptoms of the newly emerged virus “2019-nCOV” as headache, coughing, a sore throat and fever. More serious cases can develop into SARS, pneumonia, respiratory failure or kidney failure.

Henry said the new virus is believed to have been transmitted from animals to humans as a result of the large animal and seafood markets in Wuhan, the Chinese city where it was first identified. The intensive measures being taken around the world are to contain and eradicate the strain from the human population.

Henry said the effort is directed at the new coronavirus because it has the potential to become another type of influenza that circulates every year, and can be fatal for people with compromised health who are exposed.

“The reason is because this is a new virus that has just jumped the species barrier,” Henry said. “We have one opportunity as a global community to push this back, and that opportunity is now.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clearwater mayor hopeful decision on local tenure transfer will come soon

Blackwell said Forest Minister has stated the ministry is working on a timeline

Last weekend on the ice

Annual Clearwater Blackhawks tournament and Ladies Curling Bonspiel successful

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Clearwater’s third annual Skijoring Race features new race classes

Look forward to speed races, slalom events and big air jumps

Remembering the tools of yesteryear

Barriere and District Heritage Society talks mundane modern tasks once laborous and time consuming

RCMP reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands as pipeline work pauses

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 13 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommedations come five months after it was revealed 40 % of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Share Now, formerly Car2Go, leaves Canada with valuable data in changing market: expert

Vancouver was its largest market in North America, with more than 300,000 customers

Off-duty RCMP officer helps catch Cache Creek car thief

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

What’s happening: Coronavirus forges on, as world hunts solutions

Japan closes all elementary, middle and high schools until spring holidays in late March

RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan

Public safety minister says RCMP has been helping UK police intermittently since November

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Most Read