With no new COVID cases on Vancouver Island in weeks, it might be hard to tell we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
“I don’t feel overly concerned being on the Island,” one woman told CHEK News anonymously. “I think we’re doing a really good job so far as a community.”
Vancouver Island’s only had 127 cases — the lowest per capita in the province — and just five deaths.
“On the South Island, it’s been four incubation periods without a case and up-Island, two incubation periods so clearly there is a low circulation of the virus,” says Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health‘s Chief Medical Officer.
Testing is widely available and about 200 are being done a day now on the Island — well down from the peak.
Health officials say they’re cautiously optimistic.
“We need to do this in an incremental fashion, evaluate, and then continue to see if we can get back to some form of normal but again not give the virus a chance to re-establish itself,” Dr. Stanwick says.
But there’s also a new threat B.C. health officials are monitoring closely — a rare, post-viral inflammatory syndrome hitting young children.
Hundreds of cases of the Kawasaki-like syndrome have been detected worldwide and Dr. Bonnie Henry says they’re trying to determine if B.C.’s had any COVID-related cases.
“There are at least half a dozen that they’re investigating, none has yet been confirmed to be related to COVID 19,” Dr. Henry says. “But the investigation is on-going.”
Symptoms include high fever, rash, abdominal pain and inflammation that can attack organs.
Red eyes, swollen red cracked lips and swollen red feet and hands are also tell-tale signs of this potentially deadly disease.
“Unfortunately, as we’ve witnessed in the United States, it can have a fatal outcome in a rare number of individuals,” Dr. Stanwick says. “This is not something we’re treating lightly.”
Health officials are looking back through records for this year to determine if they were any COVID-related cases.
They’re asking parents to be vigilant and watch for symptoms.