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I'm here to give an update around some of the issues that we're dealing with here with the new Corona virus that here in BC And as you all know, this is a planned media briefing that we're going to do every Tuesday and unintentionally.
One of the first things I need to update you on is that we have identified a second case of someone who has tested positive for Corona virus here in British Columbia.
This is ah, woman in her fifties who lives in the Vancouver coastal Health Region.
She was became ill a few days ago and was assessed in hospital.
And the testing came back positive once again late last night.
So Vancouver Coastal is working diligently today to get all of the details starting last night and today, all of the details around this person.
She has been in contact with family visitors from, uh from Wuhan and Hoop a province on.
So we and she has a very small number of close contacts that are also being followed up with an cover coastal today.
So that is the me enough heat that we have.
This is not a surprise to us.
We did expect with all of the work that we're doing with public health to monitor and assess people and the low threshold that we have in the province to make sure that we test anybody, that we have any concerns the vote it It shows us that our system is working and that we have lots of measures in in place to protect people into to detect anybody early.
Who has this infection?
The second thing I want to talk about is just how important it is.
Right now, we're watching globally what's happening around the world with with this virus and certainly in China and I'm no, you're aware the numbers of cases still continue to increase.
We from working very closely with their counterparts across the country and globally to make sure that we're doing everything we can to try and reduce the risk of transmission and particularly the risk of transmission here in Canada and in BC.
So we call on everybody to continue to take those measures.
We are still, as I've mentioned before, we're still in influenza season here.
We're seeing a lot of people will, particularly young Children, because we're seeing an influenza B season which often affects young people.
So there are many reasons why we all need to be extra vigilant, particularly in these next few weeks when we're going to get a better sense of whether we're able to contain this virus.
So those things, of course, are the important things of washing your hands regularly covering your mouth when you cough.
Um, not touching your face and eyes and mouth.
And if you are sick yourself to stay home and we want to everybody to be aware of that and to be extra sensitive right now, that in particular if you have are somebody who has been in Hu Bei province within the last two weeks, it's really important right now that that you take these measures to keep away from others and consider staying home keeping your Children home.
If you are still within that incubation period and monitoring very carefully for symptoms and connecting with us in public health, if you have any concerns at all about symptoms, we need to be extra sensitive a vote our Children in particular cause they may not recognize if they have early onset of symptoms and young, healthy people were no with this Corona virus.
Young, healthy people may have very mild symptoms but can still pass it on to other people.
So right now we want everybody to be especially careful about that toe.
Monitor themselves to monitor your Children and call us immediately if you have any concerns about infection, particularly people who have traveled the other thing.
I wanted to update us on today, which was supposed to be the focus of our talk today from the work that we're doing in partnership with our colleagues at the Public Health Agency and the government of Canada around repatriation of Canadians who are coming back to to Canada from Wuhan.
We know that they are going to be in quarantine in Trenton.
We also know that the plane will be refueling at Y V R.
Hopefully on the weather will allow that, um and we're making preparations to make sure that we can support.
If anybody needs has medical issues that they need to be evacuated from the plane while they're here, we have plans in place to be able to support that as well.
We also know that a good proportion or some proportion of the people on the plane will eventually come back to DC after their period of quarantine in Trenton.
So we're working with our federal counterparts to make sure that we can support those people as well.
Um, both when they're in Trenton and when they come back here to British Columbia, the these air, the important things I wanted to update us on today, and I'm certainly willing to take questions going around.
Please wait for the night before you speak and identify yourself with your name and outlets name please either, Uh, Brennan.
Owen, Canadian press.
So, um, just at the beginning you mentioned Can you just reiterate who the second person has been in contact with?
What are your communications with that person?
So this is a person, a resident of Vancouver, Coastal Health Authority.
And they had a She and her family had family visitors for Mahan who are still here and living in the host.
So Vancouver Coastal Health is in contact with all of them and getting all of the details.
The work that we do in public health making sure we in contact with everybody that they've been in contact with in close contact with in the last few days, so that work is ongoing.
And how are you determining You know that this is the second case?
So for the first case, how are you determining?
You know how this person and these folks can be kind of re integrated once they're no longer ill?
So there's a couple of things around that.
That's a really important question.
It's a question that we've been watching internationally.
How do we know when people are no longer infectious to others and right now, the criteria that we're using his resolution of symptoms?
So no more fever.
No more cough, though Sometimes you can have a little bit of a cough that may go on for some days, and right now we're asking people tohave to nasal fair NGO swabs 24 hours apart that are negative for the virus.
And that's a way that we can tell that they're no longer shedding the virus in the respiratory secretions.
So that's the protocol we're following right now.
And that's what's been recommended that the W H.
We're finished with the questions on the floor first and afterwards we will go to people on the phone and when you're on the phone, please queue up by pressing star one.
Okay, so a frank she was on the news.
Apparently this suppers and visitors from want.
So there any consideration, maybe restricting people traveling from, especially the epic center.
Who Bay Province into Canada.
Are you go to talk about that too.
Public house, Agency Canada and the school choir.
Second question is, uh, there is the person who is visiting from Juan.
He more herself developed any symptom And is he under, uh, testing or has he being tested?
So the first question Absolutely.
We've been talking about this with the public health agency and with the government of Canada over the last few days or weeks.
Both all of us.
We have, as you know, a special advisory committee nationally that includes myself and colleagues from across the country.
So we've been looking at what's happening in China and what measures we need to take.
The government of Canada is responsible for travel advisories outside the country, and we're not restricting travel.
Although, as you're likely aware, there is quite extreme restrictions on travel from from many cities within who Bay Province and we understand there's still a very small number of people from outside of those travel restrictions and that come into Canada from who buy in the range of a few dozen people a day.
Most of them do not come to BC, but some of them will.
So those small number of people we do want to be especially careful because we know that that's where the epicenter of this outbreak is happening.
And so we encourage those people who have been in who buy for the last little while to make sure they're monitoring yourself very carefully for any symptoms and consider staying away from others for the period of that incubation period of 14 days.
If they have any symptoms at all, or if you have any concerns about your child having symptoms, please call us.
So call 811 You can call your local public health unit or you can call your local health care provider in terms of the visitors are still here, and Vancouver Coastal Health is following up with the entire family and host.
Hold right now else develop any symptoms or we don't have all the details yet, so those details will become apparent in the next little while.
So Linda Aylesworth, Global News.
You mentioned being prepared when people come back to China, from China to Ontario.
So what is the plan if anyone falls ill on the flight as they're filling up for the repatriation of flight?
So there's a couple of things they will have a Canadian forces medical personnel on board the flight.
And they have extensive plans for isolating people on the flight so that we're not in contact with each other.
So you're not intentionally exposing somebody.
If somebody does become ill, Um, and they do have the ability to have a separate isolation area on the plane should somebody on develop symptoms whilst their in flight.
Um, if they touch down here and they need urgent medical care.
So the only people that would be medevacked off the flight here in in in BC would be somebody who needs urgent medical care, either for Corona virus or, more likely for some other medical condition that they needed assistance with.
So we have plans for how to manage that, but there will be a quarantine area here.
I imagine some sort of isolation.
If that was the case, we would be putting them in through our health system with BC Emergency Health Service's and the Richmond Hospital.
And we have all of the protocols in place to ensure that that's done in a way that protects people from this from this Corona virus and other infections as well.
Just one other questions.
So the World Health Organization today declared this pandemic so by definition, what is that?
But then also, what does that actually mean to us?
Eso a pandemic is an epidemic or an outbreak that has spread around the world and where you have transmission in more than one area around the world.
The moment when we're most familiar with is an influenza pandemic where a new strain of influenza can arise, as did in 2009 and can spread rapidly in some cases around the world.
In this case, it technically would meet the definition because we've seen now upwards of 30 countries where there has been transmission and where there has been mostly limited transmitted person to person transmission in some other countries as well.
This one still is very much focused on China and the efforts that are being put in place to restrict and try and prevent transmission in China are really more extensive than we've seen ever least in modern history here in BC.
It doesn't change anything for us.
We are still definitely in our containment phase.
We want to detect, assess, test and be able to care for anybody who comes down with this here in British Columbia and prevent the transmission to others.
So that's our focus, and that continues to be our focus.
I'm Maria.
Why Scarpa si TV.
Just to confirm the second case is confirmed.
It's not presumptive.
Uh, I should say that it is has been It's a presumptive confirmed.
It was positive at our lab here A, B, C, C, D c.
And as you know, technically, for it to be called a confirmed case that needs to be confirmed.
The National Microbiology Lab samples have been sent there, and I fully expect they will come back positive as well.
Can you tell us anything more?
I know you say that now the the visitors of this patient are being monitored.
What, You're not sure at this point whether any of them may have been having any symptoms or anything like that when they came to visit or way assumed that the transmission occurred.
But the details are being undertaken even as we speak.
Um, this person was just identified quite late.
Yes, well, the test came back positive quite late yesterday.
So Vancouver Coastal is doing the detailed investigations today and will be ensured that will be testing will also be making sure that they trace back any movements that these people have had and make sure we're in contact with with everybody that may have had close contact with any of tha.
So we tried this.
When we do public health contact tracing, we tend to focus on the inner circle, the close contacts first.
And then we move on to anybody who may have had more peripheral and we do a risk assessment at each stage toe.
Look at you.
What types of symptoms?
How long did they spend?
So it's very different.
If you're living in a host, hold with somebody versus walking your dog down the street every now and then.
Initial understanding that we have is these people were well aware of what was going on.
They left Wuhan before the travel restrictions were put in place.
but they were also very conscious of the outbreak and we're minimizing their contact with people outside the home.
So that's our initial understanding, and more details were becoming.
Can I also ask just with now?
I mean, it's like case and he confirmed it.
Just the news around the world.
Is there anything you want to say to people to sort of alleviate some of the the fears that are also surrounding this virus and perhaps of some people feeling like, you know, the moment that you decided to wear a mask or something like that?
You're being singled out and people are afraid.
Is there anything you want to say to sort of speak to those types of concerns?
This'd is This case is not unexpected.
It tells us that our system is working, that we're finding people that were assessing them safely in the hospital setting, for example, the things that we're doing every day to prevent transmission off influenza and the other bugs that we see this time of year are working.
So people need to be really conscious about that cleaning their hands.
You're maintaining a distance if you're not feeling well, even if you're just feel like you might be fighting off something.
It's okay right now, right now in this next couple of weeks with what all is going on.
Stay home.
Stay away from others, See if you can work from home.
Keep Children away from school.
If you have concerns concerns about them not feeling well, that's a good way for them to to rest and help fight off viruses as well.
So right now, I think it's good for all of us to be really conscious about this and to protect our Children, to take those measures that we take to prevent infections and stay away from others.
If we're sick wors ourselves and with this Corona virus, we know the epicenter is in who Bay Province and particularly rule Han City.
So if you're somebody who's traveled here from there, we ask you to be really conscious about that, to stay away from others to avoid crowded areas, particularly because we know that early symptoms can be hard to detect.
And that's an important way to prevent transmission of infection to others.
Is any questions and afford one?
Thank you I ever with City news.
I'm just wondering so with the people getting devices like the two cases in Vancouver.
So what about the treatment for them?
Yeah, there's no specific treatment for this virus, so there's no medication that we can give people.
But most people, it's a respiratory infection.
Someone causes infections in the lungs and the upper airways and cough and sometimes pneumonia.
Some people can get a secondary bacterial pneumonia, which antibiotics can help with, so we need to monitor them very carefully.
For that, and for some people, the viral infection, like influenza Corona virus can can exacerbate some of the other conditions we have, like heart disease or lung disease, so making sure they have what we call supportive treatment, making sure you have fluids.
Your other conditions are being managed appropriately.
Rest and things to build your immune system so you can fight off the buyers.
And we heard that in China.
I think they have a few cases where they used to HIV medication.
Joshua devices that Is that true, or do you have any comment for that?
There are some trials ongoing with what we call antiviral medications.
Some of them are ones that are used against another virus like influenza, for example, and some of them are ones that have been effective against HIV virus.
But those were all clinical trials right now, and there's no evidence that any of them are specifically work against this virus yet.
But that's a very important research area.
That's ongoing.
Just one more question.
So RBC School's doing anything differently to make sure the kids are informed and away off the virus, because some off the parents are reporting that the kids are, Yeah, I've been hearing that a swell, that there's quite a lot of anxiety and young people, because they're reading this and they don't know much about it.
It's a matter of fact I'm going to be talking to some young people about it.
So we've been putting some messages together and really for for schools and for young people, the things that you do every day to try and prevent infections, washing your hands, the really important things and understanding what a virus is and how it works.
Those are things that we can do to help support our Children in the school system.
They're looking at, um, teaching Children about hand hygiene and hand washing and covering your mouth and having a really low threshold for keeping Children home rate.
Now, if they're not feeling well because that's the best way of protecting everybody.
So we will take one last question.
We'll go to the full Kate on the phone.
We do have one question.
This question is from Kevin that radio.
I'm just wondering what measures extra measures.
Any are being taken to protect our workers at hospitals or first responders, something that is something that were, of course, very concerned about him.
From the very beginning, we've been working with our health authorities.
I mentioned that we've established a ah coordinating committee, and we've ramped up what we call our health emergency response here so that we're coordinating around this.
So there is messages around triage around the personal protective equipment that one should wear.
Um, just in time training to remind people about wearing a mask, covering your eye protection, washing your hands regularly and the things like if you are sick yourself and going into the system, um, wearing a mask when you go to the emergency department or your family doctor's office.
So those are all things that were working with them with health care workers across the province, in our facilities and our communities and also with that the B c e h s.
So, yes, that is something that we started very early on, particularly recognizing that with other Corona virus infections like sires and murders, we know that there can be tremendously, um, serious outbreaks that can happen in health care settings.
I think it is reassuring to me in some ways that there is very few transmissions in health care settings in China where this has been obviously of Theo.
Intensity of the transmission is immense, and we know that our health care workers here are well prepared.
Any other questions over the food?
We do have a deep, uh, this one is from a Bob Mackie brought back anything here, but go ahead.
So the personal a couple questions, But first, But where's Mr Minister Dick today?
Minister Dix has been fully informed and involved in this issue.
He knows what going on, and he is in co mocks at the moment with the rest of Cabinet, um, and was trying to make it down here.
But as you can see, it's been a challenging day for travel.
Okay, Uh, Andi wanted to find out how many people from moving on are visiting this patient.
And do these visitors have symptoms?
Have you been able to determine whether whatever quantity this is of visitors have symptoms or if this patient could have caught this somewhere else?
We're quite certain that it was family visitors that are staying in the household.
It's a small number, and they are still here.
And as I mentioned, Vancouver Coastal is working on the details with all of the close contacts today.
How small of a small number.
And can you describe the makeup?
Oh, are these Children single people?
What are we looking at here from?
From this group of people in terms of quantity and makeup?
Small number is just that, um, and we're still getting the details, and I'm not going to be talking about those details at this point.
Okay, so now we will have one last question over the room here.
I just had to step out for a moment.
So are you able to say how many?
So there's, you know, 250 spots.
I think on this flight.
Do you know how many people are going to be returning to BC after being in Trenton and what that process is gonna be like?
We don't know that yet, and much of the details as we're hearing will depend on who actually gets on the flight.
There are many different stages they need to go through to get permission from the Chinese government to make it through the various checkpoints around their health issues.
So we don't yet know that yet.
We will know that once the manifest is complete, once people are on the flight and we're working very closely with our federal partners, too, toe understand that we will have a little bit of time once they arrive in Trenton to be able to facilitate things, we are just preliminarily.
It's probably, they estimate around 1/3 of people have connections to BC Maria Weisgerber See TV again.
Could I ask, How can we know how she's doing?
How is the second patient?
So she had symptoms that rose a few days ago, but she and was assessed at a hospital but is in isolation at home, so her condition is stable and she's being actively monitored.
So this is the end.
I'll walk Q and a session.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
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Second 'presumptive confirmed' case of coronavirus in British Columbia | Vancouver Sun

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林宜悉 published on March 10, 2020
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