Two of the visitors from China staying with a Vancouver-area woman have been identified as the third and fourth cases of novel coronavirus in B.C.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed Thursday that two positive tests came back from the group of visitors staying with B.C.’s second patient, identified earlier this week.
One of the visitors, a man in his 30s, is believed to be the source of the infection for the group, and all are in isolation and being monitored, Henry told reporters at the B.C. legislature.
The first B.C. case was identified Jan. 28, when a man in his 40s returned from a visit to Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus strain was identified. He was aware of the risk and isolated at home, Henry said.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said four cases for B.C. is a significant number, but “everyone is self-isolating,” and the situation is confined to two homes in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region.
The second patient, a woman in her 50s with guests from China, was identified with a positive test announced Feb. 4. Her visitors remain in isolation with her.
Health Canada describes typical symptoms of the newly emerged virus “2019-nCOV” as headache, coughing, a sore throat and fever. More serious cases can develop into pneumonia, respiratory failure or kidney failure.
Henry said the best prevention measures include frequent hand washing, covering coughs and remaining at home if flu-like symptoms emerge. Those visiting doctors’ offices or hospitals should wear masks to protect others if possible.
Public health officials say the new virus is believed to have been transmitted from animals to humans as a result of the large animal and seafood markets in Wuhan. The intensive measures being taken around the world are to contain and eradicate the strain from the human population.