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Canada: 1st confirmed 2019-nCoV in British Columbia – Outbreak News Today

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By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control today reported the first confirmed case of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Image/Dr. Fred Murphy & Sylvia Whitfield/CDC

In a joint statement today, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) said, “The person is a male in his forties and a resident in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. He travels regularly to China for work and was in Wuhan city on his most recent trip. He returned to Vancouver last week and had an onset of symptoms after his return.

“On Sunday, Jan. 26, he followed public health messaging, contacted a primary health-care provider to notify them that he had travelled to Wuhan city, was experiencing symptoms and would be coming for assessment and care.

“Following established protocols, the primary-care provider notified the Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer and administered the diagnostic test.

“Late last night, the test came back positive.

2nd confirmed 2019-NoCv case in Toronto

“Public health officials are in regular contact with the individual and a small number of close contacts. He is in isolation at home.

“The risk of spread of this virus within British Columbia remains low at this time. 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 BC Centre for Disease Control has a team of experts that support the Province’s operations in monitoring and controlling communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases. The team has developed a diagnostic test for this new coronavirus and is co-ordinating staff and supplies to ensure potential cases can be detected quickly and accurately.

“The PHO is responsible for monitoring and assessing the health status of the population, making recommendations for strategies to address health issues and implementing immediate actions when necessary to protect the health of the public. The PHO has directed health-care workers to be vigilant and to take a travel history for anyone reporting respiratory symptoms.

Germany reports 3 additional novel coronavirus cases in Bavaria

“It is not necessary for the general public to take special precautions beyond the usual measures recommended to prevent other common respiratory viruses during the winter period. Regular handwashing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and avoiding contact with sick people are important ways to prevent the spread of respiratory illness generally.

“Anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary-care provider, local public health office or call 811.”

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WHO 'very impressed' with Chinese response to coronavirus outbreak – National Post

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GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) is “very impressed” with the Chinese response to the global coronavirus outbreak so far, a senior official said on Wednesday, adding that the world had reached a critical point in efforts to tackle the disease.

“They are taking extraordinary measures in the face of what is an extraordinary challenge,” said Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme who accompanied the body’s chief on a trip to China this week.

“We are at an important juncture in this event. We believe these chains of transmission can still be interrupted.” (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge Editing by Gareth Jones)

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Airlines suspend flights, extraction efforts in the works as Wuhan coronavirus infects thousands – CityNews Vancouver

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The death toll from the novel coronavirus has now hit triple digits as more and more cases pop up in over a dozen countries.

Just this week, the first presumptive case of the virus was confirmed in B.C., after two others were confirmed in Ontario days earlier.

Watch: Presumptive case of coronavirus in Vancouver

Around 6,000 people have been infected in mainland China and a number of other countries thus far, surpassing the number of people infected by the SARS outbreak in the country back in the early 2000s. At least 132 people have reportedly died.

In an effort to contain the outbreak, China has cut off all access to Wuhan — the epicentre of the outbreak — as well as dozen other cities.

This comes as some airlines have moved to cancel select flights to the region. Air Canada has cancelled some flights to China over the coming weeks, while several other airlines said they were reducing the number of flights to the country as demand for travel to the area drops because of the outbreak.

British Airways announced it was suspending all flights to and from mainland China after the U.K. government warned against unnecessary travel to the country amid a virus outbreak.

Back in Canada, images have been circulating online, showing people with large water bottles worn on their heads and faces, some suggesting to protect against coronavirus.

While Vancouver International Airport hasn’t confirmed this was actually happening, it did say in a tweet, “Obviously not an effective measure.”

As airlines and travellers adjust their schedules because of the outbreak, the federal government is mulling over just how to get Canadians who want to come home out of China.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says that every Canadian who has reached out for consular assistance will receive it, adding about 250 Canadians have registered with Global Affairs Canada to say they are in Wuhan. The federal government says 126 of them have asked for help to get home.

Canada is “looking at all options,” Champagne says. Meanwhile, Canada’s health minister says she doesn’t yet know whether any of the Canadians in quarantine in China are sick or would be quarantined if they do come home.

The spread of the new form of coronavirus has even impacted some international sporting events. A number of them have been postponed in China and Olympic qualifying tournaments are being taken elsewhere as a precaution.

-With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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People are wearing water jugs over their heads against coronavirus (PHOTOS) – Vancouver Courier

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While it isn’t uncommon to see people wearing face masks during an outbreak, some people take more extreme measures to protect themselves. 

Earlier today, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed B.C.’s first novel coronavirus case: a man in his 40s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and recently returned from a trip to Wuhan, China.

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Despite this, Dr. Henry says the risk of infection of the virus in B.C. is “still extremely low.” Nevertheless, some people are still concerned about contracting the virus in the Lower Mainland.  

A person was photographed at Vancouver International Airport wearing what looks like a plastic container on their head and a mask over their mouth. In an image from the back, it appears that the person has cut a hole into the container in order to make room for their ponytail. 

Photo Lynne Carter / Facebook

Lynne Carter posted the images to Facebook at roughly 2 p.m. on Jan. 28, captioning, “Fresh out of YVR. The latest anti-virus shields made with old water jugs.”

Photo Lynne Carter / Facebook
Photo Lynne Carter / Facebook

Carter also included a third photo of an adult with a child who are both wearing bottles on their heads.

Photo Lynne Carter / Facebook
Photo Lynne Carter / Facebook

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention does not advise wearing containers on your head to prevent a coronavirus infection.

And while there are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection, the CDC advises that you may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick

The World Health Organization stopped short of calling it a global health emergency last week, while officials here have said Canadians are at low risk of contracting the illness.

Nevertheless, experts stress the need to be vigilant and prepared for signs of infection. If you have mild cold-like symptoms, health officials encourage you to stay home while sick and avoid close contact to help protect others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and be sure to throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

Here are some things for people in Canada to know about the coronavirus.

— With files from Nicholas Johansen / Castanet.

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