Coronavirus: Over 200 people tested in B.C., with four infected in VCH region

New numbers from B.C.’s health officials show over 200 people have been tested for novel coronavirus so far, with only four confirmed or presumed cases in the province.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control published new numbers online Friday morning, revealing that 210 people have been tested, with a total of 318 samples taken, for the virus as of Wednesday, Feb. 5. Some individuals were tested more than once.

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The numbers are a jump from last Friday, when the total tested samples numbered 114.

So far, there are only 4 people who have tested positive for novel coronavirus – two confirmed cases and two presumptive cases, all in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which includes Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore and the Sea-to-Sky region up to Bella Coola.

Cases are “presumed positive” when they have tested positive locally, but the diagnoses still need to be confirmed by the national lab in Winnipeg.

Three of B.C.’s confirmed coronavirus patients are related, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s chief medical health officer.

The two cases announced Thursday afternoon are family members of a woman in her 50s, B.C.’s second confirmed case, who lives in the VCH region. Her family members, a man and a woman in their 30s, are visitors from the Wuhan area, where the virus originated in December.  

A man in his 40s, who was announced as the province’s first confirmed case last week, had recently travelled to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China. He fell ill after returning home.

All four patients are at home in isolation, according to health officials.  

So far, there have only been seven confirmed or presumptive cases in Canada, with the other three in Ontario. Local and federal health officials say the risk to Canadians remains low.

Both the provincial and federal governments have asked anyone who travelled to Hubei province, or who has been in close contact with someone who has recently visited, to stay home in self-isolation for 14 days.

As of the time of publishing, there are 31,535 cases of coronavirus worldwide and 638 deaths.

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