B.C. asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ when screening for coronavirus

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is monitoring a recent outbreak of a respiratory illness linked to coronavirus and has asked health-care workers to be vigilant in taking travel history for anyone reporting respiratory symptoms.

According to a joint statement released by Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, the risk to residents in the province is considered low.

“To date, there have been no cases of illness caused by the coronavirus in British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada,” reads the statement.

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a man in Washington State, who returned from an overseas trip to Wuhan in central China — where the outbreaks began — was diagnosed with a new type of viral pneumonia.

RELATED: U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

Last month doctors began noticing similar symptoms — fever, cough, difficulty breathing — in people who spent time at a food market in Wuhan. Since then more than 275 cases of the newly identified coronavirus have been confirmed in China.

The count includes six deaths — all in China, most of them age 60 or older, including at least some who had a previous medical condition.

Officials have said it probably spread from animals to people, but this week Chinese officials said they’ve concluded it also can spread from person to person.

Health authorities this month identified the germ behind the outbreak as a new type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold; others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has implemented screening for early detection of the infection for individuals arriving in airports. According to the statement, quarantine officers are available at the Vancouver International Airport, along with infection control practitioners, located at the Richmond Hospital, who are ready to respond to any patient who may require further investigation.

The BCCDC has developed a diagnostic test for coronavirus and is coordinating staff and supplies to be prepared to “quickly and accurately detect potential cases.”

RELATED: Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

“The provincial health officer has also shared awareness notifications to infection control practitioners, emergency department staff and primary care providers reminding them to screen for coronavirus symptoms and exposure. Providers who suspect an instance of coronavirus are asked to report it to their local medical health officers immediately,” reads the statement.

Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider, local public health officer or call 811.

Anyone travelling to or from China is encouraged to visit the federal source of destination-specific travel information, which provides important advice to help travellers make informed decisions and travel safely. The website is travel.gc.ca.

— With files from The Associated Press



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

China

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

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii restaurant owner joins #OneTable campaign, calls for government support

Chef-owner of Blacktail says loans not enough for restaurants impacted by COVID-19

Second Haida Nation webinar centres on mental health, well-being amid COVID-19

Haida Gwaii Talks Coronavirus guests led live exercises, shared free advice, apps and more

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

What’s your housing story? Port Clements needs assessment is underway

Survey of current residents, landlords, future residents runs until April 15

Port Clements applies for Community Trails and Recreation Program Grant

New hope for community trail projects impacted by reallocation of Rural Dividend money

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read