Fifth case of coronavirus reported in British Columbia


Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said the newest patient is a woman in her 30s who lives within the Interior Health Region.


Jason Payne / PNG

B.C. health officials said Friday that a fifth presumptive case of novel coronavirus has been reported in British Columbia.

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said the newest patient is a woman in her 30s who lives within the Interior Health Region.

The woman recently returned from Shanghai, China.

Henry said the woman did not visit Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

“She came home from Shanghai through YVR and travelled by private vehicle to her home in the Interior,” said Henry.

Henry says the woman is in isolation at home and in good condition.

Henry says the woman wore a mask on the plane and contacted health officials when she had symptoms of an illness before being tested positive Tuesday for the virus called COVID-19.

The results came back positive on Thursday.

Henry says officials will be contacting passengers who sat three rows ahead and behind the woman on the aircraft that arrived from China but the risk to them is “very, very low.”

Interior Health is actively investigating. Her close contacts have been identified and are being contacted,” said Henry.

It will remain a presumptive case until the test results are confirmed at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg within 48 hours. If confirmed, it would be the fifth case of COVID-19 in B.C., and the first outside the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Henry says the first person to be tested for the virus in the province is recovering well and has tested negative in the first of two tests that would indicate the virus no longer exists.

“Public health teams are providing ongoing care and support to all five individuals,” said Henry, adding all four remain in isolation.

She says 715 tests have been done on 500 people returning from China based on a low threshold for testing of the virus that originated in Hubei province.

Confirmed cases in mainland China jumped to 63,851 by the end of Thursday, up 5,090 from the previous day. The death toll in China rose 121 to 1,380.

With files from The Associated Press and Canadian Press

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