B.C. records second presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus

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      A woman in her 50s is the second presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus in B.C. and in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

      Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed this in a statement issued late today.

      "Vancouver Coastal Health is undertaking a detailed case investigation and will follow up with each of her close contacts," they said. "The individual had close contact with family visitors from Wuhan city and is in isolation at home."

      Wuhan, a city of more than 10 million in central China, is the epicentre of a growing outbreak that has claimed the lives of 426 people, according to the World Health Organization. All but one of those deaths was in China.

      There have been 20,630 confirmed cases, with 159 of those outside of China.

      The news of a new case in B.C. came on the same day that Japan quarantined a cruise ship due to the coronavirus. According to Japan's health ministry, 10 people onboard have tested positive.

      It means that 3,700 passengers and crew, including more than 200 Canadians, can't leave the vessel. None of the Canadians onboard has tested positive so far.

      The latest B.C. case was detected by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control late on February 3. The sample has been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for confirmation.

      “We are working closely with public health officials across Canada," Dix and Henry said. "Our focus is on people in British Columbia.

      "Given the changing dynamics of the outbreak in China and globally, and recognizing we are in the midst of influenza season, we ask anyone here in B.C. who has been in Hubei province to consider staying home and keeping their children home until 14 days have passed from their last visit to Hubei."

      Meanwhile, the federal government is working to bring Canadians home from Hubei province in China. The plane carrying them will stop in Vancouver for refuelling before continuing to a military base in Trenton, Ontario, where passengers will remain quarantined for 14 days.

      “We want to reassure people that the risk of this virus spreading within British Columbia remains low at this time," Dix and Henry said. "We are watching the evolution of the outbreak in China very closely and will notify the public if the measures we need to take in B.C. change.

      “The most important measures to prevent all respiratory illnesses including this novel coronavirus remain cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and staying home and away from others if you become sick."  

      Also today: in South Korea, Hyundai halted production of vehicles because the coronavirus outbreak in China has made it difficult to obtain some parts.

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