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Second case of coronavirus identified in B.C.

Last Updated Feb 4, 2020 at 3:55 pm PST

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, a staff member moves bio-waste containers past the entrance of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center in Wuhan, China, where some people infected with a new virus are being treated. The new virus comes from a large family of coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold. Others named SARS and MERS have killed hundreds in separate outbreaks. (AP Photo/Dake Kang, File)

The patient appears to be a woman in her 50s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region

The woman was with a small group of people visiting from Wuhan

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The second case of the novel coronavirus in B.C. has been identified.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the patient is a woman in her 50s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The woman was visiting with a small group of people from Wuhan.

“She has a very small number of close contacts — all being followed up with from Vancouver Coastal today,” she says. “We’ll be testing, also tracing back any movements they’ve had.”

Henry adds if the people from Wuhan test positive, they will be put into the local health system, saying the Richmond hospital where they may go does have protocols in place to protect health workers there.

However, she explains it is still technically a presumptive case since it would need to be confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. However, she believes the test will come back positive.

“This case is not unexpected. It tells us our system is working, that we’re finding people, that we’re assessing them safely in the hospital setting,” she says.

If this case is confirmed, it will make it the fifth case in Canada, adding to the three cases in Ontario and the first case in B.C.

Henry asserts if people are not feeling well, they should stay home and take preventative measures.

“People need to be really conscious about that, cleaning their hands, maintaining a distance if you’re not feeling well,” she says. “It’s okay right now in this next couple of weeks with what’s going on, stay home, stay away from others, see if you can work from home, keep children away from school if you have concerns about them not feeling well.”

There is no medication or vaccine for the virus, though, Henry says research is ongoing.