Published: Sat, February 22, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

B.C. woman diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning from Iran

B.C. woman diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning from Iran

Speaking to reporters, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said the latest case is a woman in her 30s who lives in the Fraser Health region and is now in isolation after returning from Iran this week.

There are no plans to change the signage at YVR or adjust the questions asked of arriving passengers, despite a woman being diagnosed with coronavirus after travelling in Iran.

The province's top doctor said Fraser Health has already begun investigating the woman's close contacts and placed a number of the people she's been in close proximity to in isolation.

Henry said an worldwide investigation would ensue to "try to understand where the exposure occurred". "This is what we call an indicator or sentinel event", Henry said during a Thursday news conference.

Dr. Henry said the risk of the virus spreading within B.C. remains low.

"This one, clearly, is a bit unusual in that the travel to Iran is something new", Dr. Henry said.

"It could be an indicator that there's more wide-spread transmission". She was assessed at a hospital and is now in self-isolation at home in the Fraser Health region, which spans from Burnaby to Hope.

The case is regarded as "presumed positive" for Covid-19 based on local testing, with samples sent to a national lab for second-stage confirmation.

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A woman in her 30s who returned from Iran within the past week is British Columbia's sixth case of COVID-19.

The fifth person, a woman in her 30s who returned from Shanghai, China, is in isolation at her home in B.C.'s Interior. "Most people who been tested for coronavirus have been tested for influenza".

"It makes it very hard to contain the virus".

"That means the virus could be transmitted quite easily, from people with mild illness, and that's something we're also learning".

As of Thursday, the World Health Organization said there were 75,748 confirmed cases globally, with 548 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.

The coronavirus has infected more than 76,000 people and killed over 2,200, mostly in China, since it was identified in late December.

For what it's worth, Google is not the primary search engine in China, where it is blocked by the country's strict Internet censorship policy.

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