First novel coronavirus case confirmed in B.C.—man in his 40s had travelled to Wuhan, China

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      A B.C. man in his 40s is in isolation at home after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. He had travelled to Wuhan prior to coming to B.C.

      People who've come in contact with him have been notified.

      According to Health Minister Adrian Dix and B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the public health lab at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed the positive test late in the day on January 27.

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

      “The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has a team of experts that support the province’s operations in monitoring and controlling communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases," they continued. "The team has developed a diagnostic test for this new coronavirus and is coordinating staff and supplies to ensure potential cases can be detected quickly and accurately."

      At a news conference this morning, Henry told reporters that the man arrived in Vancouver last week and his symptoms did not appear until more than 24 hours after he was in the province.

      She explained that the receptors for the novel coronavirus are quite deep in the lungs, which means the virus must be inhaled to lead to infection.

      Henry also suggested that people who are not infected are better off regularly washing their hands rather than wearing masks in public.

      "The mask may give you a false sense of security," she said.

      Henry also advised that if anyone is feeling sick, they should stay away from others. And they should cover their mouths if they feel a need to cough.

      Anyone who feels that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus or is experiencing symptoms should contact their primary-health provider, local public health office, or call 811.

      The provincial government is advising residents to avoid all travel to Hubei province in China, where this novel coronavirus originated. The federal government has raised its travel advisory to the highest risk for Hubei.

      The World Health Organization stated earlier this month that the novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a seafood market in Wuhan, which has a population of more than 10 million.

      The BBC reported this morning that the death toll has climbed to 106 and there have been more than 4,500 infections worldwide.