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

Parksville council votes against OCP amendment, squashing 130 Shelly Rd. development

Vote comes almost a month after residents unanimously spoke out against plan

Reminder: Recycling collection changes coming March 1

PQB residents may have to travel to Nanaimo to drop off other recyclables such as glass, Styrofoam

Reporter takes to the skies: Qualicum Beach flight school now up and running

PQB News staffer Cloe Logan tries flying with instructor Mike Andrews

Parksville council members share views on affordable housing

Divergent opinions on responsibility, priorities

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read