VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Two new presumptive cases of novel coronavirus have been announced in B.C.
A man and woman in their 30s tested positive for the virus in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region. Both were visiting from Hubei province and are related to the case identified earlier this week.
Doctor Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer, says the visitors had symptoms consistent with the virus before they tested positive.
“One of these individuals is very likely, and we’re quite confident, the source of the case we announced on Tuesday,” she says.
Henry clarifies there was not an asymptomatic transmission since one of the individuals did have a mild illness.
“That’s something that we’re recognizing more and more from the cases that have been recognized in China that young people, particularly young healthy people, can have a very mild illness that may appear like a cold,” she explains.
Vancouver Coastal Health Region announces two new presumptive cases of novel coronavirus.
A man and woman in their 30s tested positive for the virus. Both were visiting from Hubei province (before travel was restricted) and are related to the case identified earlier this week
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) February 6, 2020
Health officials will continue to monitor the situation. All those infected, along with their close contacts will remain in their household in isolation.
Henry asks anyone who may have traveled to B.C. from the province of Hubei over the last 14-days to self-isolate. For people who have come from other areas, even if they have minor symptoms, Henry stresses the need to reach out to health care professionals for support and education.
She reiterates the need for cooperation and tolerance while noting there have been disturbing references to China making the local Chinese community feel at risk.
“The virus, as we’re seeing, doesn’t respect the political borders we’ve put in place. It moves around the world transmitted through the air, so we need to all be cognizant of the fact that we’re vulnerable together as a global community. It’s a time we need to work together. We need to support each other,” she says.
B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix argues Canada’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been on-point.
“It makes our public health care system and our society more able to respond to these conditions when people feel –because we want people to feel– that they should report when they are sick. We want people to be confident their privacy will be respected,” he says.
Dix says the medical community is prepared for the coronavirus, noting that this province went through SARS in 2003.
Samples have been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. If confirmed, it will be four cases of the virus in B.C. and three in Ontario.
Risk of the virus spreading within B.C. remains low.
With files from Paul James