New ‘presumptive positive’ case of COVID-19 in B.C., now five cases in province

New 'presumptive positive' case of COVID-19 in B.C., now five cases in province
(Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images). Photo courtesy of CBC.
A nurse, left, looks at a one-year-old boy as his father and mother speak to the media during a ceremony marking their release after recovering from the COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Youan Hospital in Beijing on Friday.

British Columbia has announced another presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the province

According to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, the patient is a woman in her 30s who flew from Shanghai to the Vancouver International Airport in the past week.

“She was not in Hubei province and was not in an area where travel was restricted,” Henry said.

Henry said the woman drove from the Vancouver airport to her home in the Interior Health Region in a private vehicle. Henry also said the woman was wearing a mask during her flight.

“We are very grateful and thankful that the people who are coming back from Hubei province and all over China are taking the advice seriously to self monitor and to connect with us and make sure that they can be tested, assessed and cared for safely,” she said.

Health officials are investigating the case, Henry said. She says officials will be contacting passengers who sat three rows ahead and behind the woman on the aircraft that arrived from
China but the risk to them is “very, very low.”

“Her symptoms started, we think, around the time of her arrival. We’re still working out those details and looking at the flights and whether we need to contact people on those flights,” Henry said. She also said symptoms may have started on the flight.

Henry said the patient is doing well and is in self-isolation at home.

“We also know that she had a very small number of close contacts and she, as many others have been doing, was following the advice that she received and was self isolating and monitoring herself,” Henry said.

“She called ahead when her symptoms developed and she felt she needed to have medical attention,” Henry said. A further test will be conducted at a national lab in Winnipeg to confirm the results obtained provincially.

Henry said tests were done on Feb. 11 and results came back from the BC Centre for Disease Control on Thursday.

“Interior Health and Vancouver Health are following up on any of the close contacts that we have,” Henry said.

The close contacts are also in isolation.

B.C. officials provide coronavirus update

Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, give the latest information on the coronavirus.

Posted by CBC Vancouver on Friday, February 14, 2020

There are now five cases in the province. Four are in the Vancouver area. Earlier this week, Henry said the individuals in the Vancouver region are being monitored by health professionals and three of them are living in a home with others. She said they are doing well in isolation and would be cleared of the illness after two negative tests, 24 hours apart.

Henry says the first person to be tested for the virus in the province is recovering well and has tested negative in the first of two tests that would indicate the virus no longer exists.

She says 715 tests have been done on 500 people returning from China based on a low threshold for testing of the virus that originated in Hubei province.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix said the province has done more testing than any other jurisdiction.

Earlier Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said health workers from Canada are assisting in Japan after 12 Canadians contracted the virus aboard a cruise ship.

Three cases of the virus have also been confirmed in Ontario.

In China, a senior Chinese official reports more than 1,700 Chinese medical workers have been infected by the new coronavirus.

Six of the workers have died.

According to the World Health Organization, as of Feb. 14, 2020, there are 49,053 lab-confirmed cases. The cumulative total, which combines both lab-confirmed cases and clinically cases of COVID-19, is at 63, 932. 

Henry said the large increase in cases is due to a change of the case definition being used in Hubei province.

“It reflects what we call ‘clinical cases.'” Previously the WHO case definition and that most of us are using requires you to have a laboratory test to be called a confirmed case. And there’s been challenges in the most heavily affected area in Hubei province in getting that testing done so there was a backlog of testing. And it meant that people were not necessarily able to get the clinical care they needed,” Henry said.

Read more about the symptoms of the novel coronavirus, named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, here. 



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