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First case of novel coronavirus confirmed in BC

The BC Centre for Disease Control announced that the first presumptive case of coronavirus has arrived within the province.

Officials announced the news at a press conference this morning, saying that the infected man returned from Wuhan, China last week.

The BCCDC health lab confirmed the case late on Monday.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Centre for Disease Control

"The person is a male in his forties and a resident in the Vancouver Coastal Health region," said Adrian Dix, minister of health. "He travels regularly to China for work and was in Wuhan city on his most recent trip."

Dix said the man didn't experience any symptoms on his flight back from China and didn't start feeling sick until more than 24 hours after he landed back in Canada.

He contacted his primary health-care provider on Sunday and notified them that he had travelled to Wuhan.

"Following established protocols, the primary-care provider notified the Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer and administered the diagnostic test, continued Dix. "Late last night, the test came back positive."

"Public health officials are in regular contact with the individual and a small number of close contacts. He is in isolation at home."

During today's press conference, officials clarified that the risk of the virus spreading within BC remains low at this time.

All the necessary precautions will be taken to prevent the virus from spreading and there are multiple systems in place to do so.

"The BCCDC has a team of experts that support the Province's operations in monitoring and controlling communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases," Dix explained.

"The team has developed a diagnostic test for this new coronavirus and is co-ordinating staff and supplies to ensure potential cases can be detected quickly and accurately."

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to coronavirus, or are experiencing any symptoms, should contact their primary-care provider, local public health office or call 811.

This is a developing story and NowMedia will continue to update it as more information is made available.

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