First coronavirus case in BC confirmed by national lab

Jan 29 2020, 7:11 pm

The Province of BC has confirmed its first case of the Wuhan novel coronavirus.

Following a positive test for the virus at BC’s public health laboratory, a 40-year-old man who returned to Vancouver from Wuhan, China, last week has tested positive at the national lab.

The man is a resident of the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which comprises Vancouver, Richmond, North and West Vancouver, along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Sunshine Coast, and BC’s Central Coast.

“On Jan. 27th, our BC Centre for Disease Control public health lab locally confirmed a presumed positive test for 2019-nCoV. Following this, samples were sent to the National Medical Laboratory in Winnipeg for additional testing,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, in a statement.

“This afternoon, those tests returned positive for 2019-nCoV, confirming the presumed case is indeed novel coronavirus.”

Public health officials are in regular contact with the individual, who is in isolation at home.

“The risk of spread of this virus within British Columbia remains low at this time. All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection. We have multiple systems in place to prepare for, detect and respond to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases in the province,” said Henry.

Symptoms of the illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and most cases have been linked to the Huanan Seafood Market (also known as Wuhan South China Seafood City and South China Seafood Wholesale Market), according to the Government of Canada.

“It is not necessary for the general public to take special precautions beyond the usual measures recommended to prevent other common respiratory viruses during the winter period,” says the province.

More to come…