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

The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach to re-open on Aug. 11

Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

EDITORIAL: Real communication can solve problems

Neighbourhood dispute in Columbia Beach made headlines

COVID-19: SD69 working on how to organize schools for planned fall re-opening

Qualicum School District required to have plan to ministry by Aug. 26

RDN Transit requiring masks for most come end of month

Masks, hand sanitizer to be handed out in Regional District of Nanaimo mask policy campaign

Major injuries averted after three-vehicle crash in Nanoose Bay

Poor road conditions believed a factor in early-morning mishap

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Island youth starts virtual race against racism

Cailyn Collins says people can take part in the cause from anywhere

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Most Read