Update: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
- The B.C. Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry has just announced that the first case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in B.C. A man in his 40's who is isolated at home.
- The Ministry of Education will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health, local health authorities and other levels of government to ensure students and educators are kept informed and safe.
- Local health authorities are closely monitoring the situation.
- The Provincial Health Officer was clear, that close contacts to the first case of novel coronavirus are not showing symptoms and are being monitored closely. The person who has novel coronavirus is in isolation and all public health protocols have been followed.
- There is ongoing monitoring throughout B.C., nationally and internationally - we will continue to communicate when there are developments.
- The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has more information on its website about coronavirus.
- The BCCDC recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure are the same as fighting colds and flu:
- Wash your hands frequently (it's the single most effective way of reducing infection spread)
- Practice other good hygiene habits: don't touch your face/eyes/mouth with your hands, and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow)
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces
- Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation)
- Stay home if you're sick
- Contact 8-1-1 (HealthLink BC) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation
Fraser Health Medical Health Officers are monitoring reports of the novel coronavirus (named 2019-nCov), first identified in Wuhan, China. While there have been cases identified outside of China, all of these individuals are known to have recent travel associated with the Wuhan area.
Currently, there are no reports of cases in Canada. Public Health officials are working together to ensure that any unusual illness in arriving travelers is being appropriately screened. Physicians have also been requested to notify Public Health of any illness of concern in patients who were recently in the Wuhan area.
The School District has been advised that the risk to the general public, including school-age children, is very low. Medical Health Officers continue to monitor the situation closely, and will provide further advice and information as it becomes available.
At this time, reports indicate that similar to influenza, this virus is spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Many of the reported cases are only showing mild symptoms and are well enough to stay home. As with influenza, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe disease and require hospitalization.
In the meantime, we would remind everyone to follow proper hygiene etiquette during the cold and flu season. This includes proper hand-washing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick.
For more information, please visit British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website on novel coronavirus
Health Canada - novel coronavirus
World Health Organization - novel coronavirus