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

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

Migration drives Greater Victoria’s population growth

Region surpasses 400,000 population despite seeing more deaths than births

Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission criticizes Central Saanich over committee demise

PAAC also calls on municipality to revive ag committee disbanded earlier

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read