First presumptive case of coronavirus confirmed in B.C.

WATCH: Canada's third presumed case of the novel coronavirus has been found in the Vancouver area, following two confirmed cases in Toronto. Heather Yourex-West reports on what experts say will be critical in preventing an outbreak in Canada.

Health officials have confirmed the first presumptive case of the new coronavirus in B.C.

Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said the case involves a man in his 40s who lives in the Vancouver Coast Health (VCH) region.

The man recently travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak started. After experiencing an onset of symptoms following his return to Vancouver last week, he contacted a primary health-care provider for assessment and care.

“This person, thankfully, is currently doing well and does not need hospitalization,” Henry said.


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Henry went on to say the man is in isolation at home and is being monitored by Vancouver Coastal Health.

No members of his family have shown any symptoms, officials said.

Officials are waiting for test results from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to fully confirm the case.

Henry said a small number of people around the province have been tested for the virus “out of an abundance of caution.”

Enhanced screening procedures were implemented at Vancouver International Airport last week. Henry said a number of people arriving at the airport have been assessed and none have tested positive.

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Henry said the public should be wary of rumours circulating on social media and seek out credible sources for information.

“We need to be very careful about listening to rumours and third- and fourth-hand information,” she said.
“It’s very challenging and what’s concerning to me, having been in the city of Toronto during the SARS outbreak and being one of the people responding there, is how easily those rumours can lead to discrimination, inappropriate discrimination against people, and I think we need to take all those rumours with a grain of salt and recognize they are just that – rumours.”

The update comes as China is reporting 25 more deaths from the viral disease, bringing the death toll to at least 106. It includes the first death in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the wife of the first confirmed patient in Canada is isolated in her home as she awaits final confirmation of her own case.

Officials say the risk of the virus spreading within B.C. remains low.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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