Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

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.

CoronavirusVictoria International Airport

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

Just Posted

Victoria International Airport named one of the best employers in B.C.

Cited reasons include its training programs and tuition subsidies

Third time lucky for Freedom Mobile cell tower in Sooke

Council approves tower after cell provider applies multiple times

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

Group continues to pull sunken, abandoned wrecks from Salish Sea

Dead Boats society inching towards 89 wrecks pulled from Capital Regional waters

No-cost birth control not included in 2020 B.C. budget

AccessBC team calls it a ‘missed opportunity,’ says the group won’t stop campaigning

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Most Read