Vancouver health authorities confirm second presumptive case of coronavirus in BC

Feb 4 2020, 1:39 pm

After the first case was confirmed in BC last week, Vancouver health officials announced on Tuesday that second presumptive positive coronavirus case in BC has been confirmed.

At a press conference, BC Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said this latest case involves a woman in her 50s who lives in the “Vancouver Coastal Health region.”

Henry said the woman “became ill a few days ago, and testing came back positive late last night.”

She added this second case is presumptive confirmed, and noted that samples have been sent to the national testing lab in Winnipeg.

The woman was identified “quite late yesterday,” and “Vancouver Coastal is doing the detailed testing today,” said Henry.”I fully expect they’ll come back positive as well.”

Henry said the woman had visitors from Wuhan in her house who are “still here,” and  health authorities are “following up with the entire family right now.”

Henry said the visitors “left Wuhan before the travel restriction was put in place, but they minimized contact with people outside of the home.”

This latest case, she said “is not unexpected. It tells us that our system is working, that we’re finding people and assessing them safely, the things we’re doing every day to prevent the transmission of influenza and other bugs are working.”

Local health authorities are “watching globally what’s happening around the world [and] working very closely with our counterparts across the country to reduce the risk of transmission,” said Henry. “We are still in the influenza season here, we’re seeing a lot of people ill, especially young children, there are many reasons why we need to be extra vigilant.”

34 possible cases in Ontario

Tuesday’s announcement in BC comes after health authorities in Ontario said today that 34 possible cases of coronavirus are under investigation in the province.

This number is up from Monday, which was 29, according to the daily updated status provided by the provincial government.

In a newly released format, the province said that the total number of patients approved for the testing to date is 139.

Of those, 90 were confirmed negative on both the local and national level, at the Winnipeg lab.

Twelve cases are currently presumptive negative, which means they have tested negative at the local Ontario lab, but not yet on the national level.

The number of confirmed cases is now four, with three in Ontario, and one in BC. The first two cases in Ontario — a husband and wife in their mid-50s — are now confirmed to be at home.

The third Ontario patient was a female in her 20s, and has recovered and is well, according to health officials last week.