Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Province of British Columbia outlines its latest view on the Coronavirus reports from China

The British Columbia government has offered up some reassuring words yesterday for residents of the province who have been watching the news of out China and the rapidly changing totals from reports of a coronavirus that has broken out in that country.

Health Minister Adrian Dix provided the latest themes from Province in a statement on Tuesday, noting that to this point the risk to British Columbians is considered low.

Most cases have been reported in Wuhan and other cities in China. But cases have also been reported outside of China, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. Today, the United States Centre for Disease Control confirmed a case was detected in a Washington State resident who recently returned from travel to Wuhan. 

To date, there have been no cases of illness caused by the coronavirus in British Columbia or elsewhere in Canada. 

We are watching the situation closely and health-care workers have been asked to be vigilant and take a travel history for anyone reporting respiratory symptoms."

BC's Minister of Health
Adrian Dix
The Health Minister outlined that the BC Centre for Disease Control, as well as provincial and federal authorities are closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness that has been linked to the novel coronavirus.

“In co-ordination with the Public Health Agency of Canada, our public health teams are responding by closely monitoring the situation and have implemented screening for early detection of infections for individuals arriving in airports. 

Quarantine officers are available at Vancouver International Airport to co-ordinate any response required, and Richmond Hospital infection control practitioners are ready to respond to any potential scenario where a patient may require further investigation."

More notes on how the province is approaching the issue can be found here.

Concerns over the potential for a global spread for the virus have been focused on the city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected.  Complicating the situation is the arrival of the Chinese Lunar New Year and the vast amount of travel that takes place in and out of China during the period of celebrations.

The outbreak of the virus is bringing back memories of the SARS outbreak at the start of this century which also originated in China before spanning the globe, with Canada feeling the impact of that event significantly with 44 deaths reported from the 2002-2003 outbreak.

Globally the SARS outbreak claimed and estimated 916 lives during that period.

The latest information on the Situation in China can be found from the World Health Organization which has created an information page here.

A little closer to home, should there be any need for updates for the Northwest, the Northern Health website will be the best available option to learn more.

To follow some of the past notes on the outbreak see our political Blog Darcy McGee, from that portal we've been cataloguing the latests items of interest on a daily basis.

Further notes on health in the Northwest can be explored from our archive page here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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