As of Feb. 24, B.C. health officials had announced seven cases, only one of which has recovered so far.
Health officials are currently tracking COVID-19, which has made its way to B.C.
The novel coronavirus is transmitted through large liquid droplets such as when a person coughs or sneezes and can enter your system through the eyes, nose or throat if you’re in close contact with an infected individual.
Symptoms include a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Those who think they’re infected should call a health-care professional before visiting a doctor’s office.
Here’s an updated list of cases confirmed in B.C.
RECOVERED — Case 1: Man, 40s, Vancouver resident
B.C.’s first COVID-19 patient was a man in his 40s. Officials said the man was first confirmed to have the novel coronavirus on Jan. 27, 2020. He had travelled to Wuhan and was put into isolation for recovery upon diagnosis here in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
On Feb. 19, 2020, officials confirmed the man had been cleared of the virus after testing negative in two tests set 24 hours apart.
Case 2: Woman, 50s, Vancouver resident
The second B.C. case of COVID-19 was announced Feb. 3 in a woman in her 50s who lives in the Vancouver area. Officials believe the woman contracted coronavirus from two relatives who had been visiting her from the Wuhan area.
Cases 3 and 4: Man and woman, both in their 30s, visitors from Hubei province
The third and fourth cases of COVID-19 were reported Feb. 6 in a man and a woman in their 30s, both visiting from the Hubei province in China. The pair was visiting a Vancouver-based relative, who had earlier been announced as B.C.’s second case of COVID-19.
All three individuals in the household were placed on quarantine at home for recovery.
Case 5: Woman, 30s, B.C. Interior resident
The fifth case was announced Feb. 14 and was found in a woman in her 30s who had recently returned from Shanghai. The woman, who lives in B.C.’s Interior, remained in isolation at home while recovering.
Case 6: Woman, 30s, Fraser Valley resident
B.C.’s sixth case of COVID-19 was announced Feb. 20 in a woman in her 30s who lives in the Fraser Health region. The woman had recently returned from a trip to Iran, where concerns are high over transmission after a sudden rash of cases in that country.
A number of close contacts of the woman were identified by health officials, including those on-board her flight to Vancouver, and were being monitored for symptoms.
Case 7: Man, 40s, Fraser Valley resident
The province’s seventh case of COVID-19 was announced Feb. 24 in a man in his 40s. Officials say the man had been in contact with the woman in B.C.’s sixth case, though the man’s symptoms began before the woman had been officially diagnosed.
The man’s close contacts have been identified and officials are monitoring them for symptoms.
More to come …
'Nobody went out and intentionally spread this': No order broken in Caul's cluster – CBC.ca
The first person who had COVID-19 at a St. John’s funeral home— also known as the index case — did not spread the virus knowingly and did not violate any government orders by being there, says the province’s chief medical officer of health.
As of Monday, 111 people infected with coronavirus in Newfoundland and Labrador contracted it either directly or indirectly from Caul’s Funeral Home in St. John’s, between March 15 and 17. One man, 78, died Sunday as a result of the virus, linked to the funeral home.
Social media has been awash with vitriol, shaming and misinformation on the incident, with some calls for the individual to be charged, but Dr. Janice Fitzgerald called for calm.
“Nobody went out and intentionally spread this,” Fitzgerald said Sunday. “This happened at a time when we didn’t have the same measures in place that we do now.
“Taking our experience from now and trying to apply that to something that happened nearly two weeks ago is fraught with problems because where we are now is very different.”
Fitzgerald, who is Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health, said it does not appear anyone violated government rules at the time, and shaming individuals is not conducive in the fight against the ever-spreading virus.
Caul’s Funeral Home disclosed March 22 that people who had attended its LeMarchant Road business for visitation for two people between March 15 and March 17 were being contacted by public health, as a suspected infected person had visited the building.
The provincial government had only ordered public sector employees who returned from travel outside the country to self-isolate on March 16. Also on that date, the federal government advised all Canadians returning from outside the country to voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days.
It is unclear if the individual was showing symptoms at the time, and where they were prior to the funeral service.
“That is our balance we always have to achieve,” Fitzgerald said Sunday. “We want people to come forward, we want people to feel safe to come forward.”
The self-isolation period for anyone who did attend the funeral home and has not yet been sick ends Wednesday.
‘It’s a war zone’: Coronavirus deaths at Bobcaygeon, Ont., nursing home climb to 9 – Global News
Nine residents of a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., have died of COVID-19 complications since March 25, according to the facility’s medical director.
Dr. Michelle Snarr has called the Pinecrest Nursing Home a “war zone” since an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease was declared on March 18. The nine deaths are presumed cases of COVID-19, she said, noting that seven of the deaths occurred over the weekend.
“It’s a war zone — more than one nurse has said that,” Snarr said Monday morning. “I feel like a field commander in a war.”
“We started off with 65. We’ve had nine die so far,” said Snarr.
“There are patients dying right now; more are going to die.”
Snarr said she emailed families on March 21, warning them they may have to decide on sending a loved one to the hospital or placing them on a ventilator — the latter of which Snarr said would likely cause a patient to “suffer a great deal,” adding that they “may not survive.”
“I cannot begin to imagine what the abysmal quality of life would be for a person in a nursing home — that frail — and if they survived a ventilator, the quality of life would just be abysmal,” she said.
Snarr thanked the public for the outpouring of support and said a “plea for compassion is needed” for the situation, which she describes as “beyond horrifying … heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching.”
“I can’t put it into words. It’s just devastatingly horrible. So, so, so sad,” she said.
The health unit has called the outbreak the largest in the province.
Global News has reached out to Health Minister Christine Elliott’s office numerous times for comment on this story, however the minister’s office has declined to comment, saying it would have more details Monday afternoon.
On Monday afternoon, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit confirmed the seven COVID-19-related deaths. As of Monday, 24 staff at the nursing home have been confirmed positive for COVID. Test results are pending for 10 other staff, the health unit stated
There have also been two additional deaths at the home since March 18 that were not related to COVID-19, the health unit issued in a release.
Mary Carr, Pinecrest administrator, says residents have been isolated in the home and staff with symptoms have been sent home for self-isolation to help limit the spread of the virus.
“Our team members are dedicated professionals, trained in infection, prevention and control strategies and they will continue to focus on keeping our residents, families and team members safe,” said Carr in an email to Global News. “We actively monitor and screen our residents to determine if they are showing any of the related symptoms and take necessary precautions if they do. We also actively screen all our team members every time they enter our building, and they are encouraged to self-monitor at home and are not permitted to come to work if they are feeling unwell.”
Carr said limited visitation is only for essential visitors.
“Our residents and staff have shown incredible resilience during this difficult time and we truly appreciate the support we have received from the community,” she said.
More to come.
COVID-19: Positive case confirmed at Peterborough long-term care facility
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
A look at the search for a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada – CBC.ca
Thousands of scientists around the world are working on problems raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the search for a vaccine against the virus.
Canadian researchers are part of that search.
Here is a summary of some of the projects underway at Canadian universities:
Western University in London, Ont., is working on a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as on developing a coronavirus vaccine bank containing hundreds to thousands of potential vaccines that could be used at the start of another outbreak.
The research builds on previous work done at the school for a vaccine against the MERS virus, another coronavirus related to the one now circulating.
Researchers hope to develop ways to adapt vaccines effective against one virus to work against a related one. That would allow them to quickly produce new vaccines to fight future viral outbreaks.
Testing in animals
In Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan scientists are trying to identify what common lab and agricultural animals can be infected with the virus to better understand which animals may pose a risk and which may be used as models for human infection.
The team will also use animals to ensure proposed vaccines don’t actually worsen the infection, as has been observed elsewhere, and to determine whether animals can be used to test safety of vaccines.
The university’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization is building a pilot-scale plant on campus for vaccine development. It says it’s the first in the country to have a possible novel coronavirus vaccine for testing in animals.
The University of Alberta in Edmonton is also investigating possible coronavirus vaccine candidates.
Researchers are building on previous experience to work toward developing methods for industry-scale vaccine purification.
Meanwhile, a University of Alberta cancer researcher and his biotechnology company is working on a DNA vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.
DNA-based vaccines introduce genetic material into a patient’s cells, which causes them to make bits of the virus and trick the immune system into a response. Such a vaccine is easier to manufacture at scale, offers improved stability and doesn’t need an infectious agent.
The vaccine candidates are to be tested soon in animal models before moving to human trials.
At Laval University in Quebec City, scientists who have already had success against the Zika and MERS viruses are trying to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by reverse-engineering the genetics of the novel coronavirus.
Data is to be used to identify bodies that can neutralize the virus. The research, conducted in conjunction with biotechnology companies, is also expected to yield information on vaccine safety as well as on how the target viruses damage and travel between their human hosts.
Laval is also host to a project hoping to use nanoparticles to enhance the strength of an immune response and the speed of that response for any new vaccine.
The project is also looking for ways to induce cells to produce antibodies against the virus. The two components would be combined into a vaccine.
The approach has been used before during the SARS epidemic in 2002 and produces stable vaccines that can be stored for long periods.
In Winnipeg, a University of Manitoba team is looking at how the novel coronavirus gains entry to a healthy cell.
Researchers suspect compounds that interfere with that mechanism could be used as vaccines. They’ve found a way to target cells that present antiviral agents to the immune system and hope to use those cells to transmit the compounds they’ve developed.
University of British Columbia scientists are examining the effectiveness of previously known drugs against the novel coronavirus.
Many viruses that affect human health are related, but it’s not known if drugs developed to fight those are effective against COVID-19.
The team is assessing the most likely drugs to work and, since it’s already known they are safe, putting them into clinical trials. Work has already begun on a drug originally developed to fight HIV.
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