B.C health officials have announced the province’s eighth case of novel coronavirus in a woman visiting from Iran.
Adrian Dix, minister of health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said the woman is in her 60s and has a “relatively mild case” of the virus. She and a “small number” of close contacts are in isolation in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. She is receiving support and monitoring from public health teams, officials said.
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“Vancouver Coastal Health is actively investigating. Close contacts have been identified and contacted by public health officials. Those who may be at risk are now in isolation for 14 days and are being actively monitored for symptoms,” a joint statement from the ministry of health and provincial health officer read.
The woman, from Tehran, Iran, arrived in B.C. earlier this week and developed symptoms a few days later, according to officials. She was confirmed positive for the respiratory illness after she was tested by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
Authorities also provided an update on earlier cases of the virus in the province. They said they were pleased to report that the first four patients who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 have fully recovered.
The other patients who have not recovered from the illness yet continue to be in isolation at home and under the care of public health teams, the statement said.
Dixon said that more than a thousand people in B.C. have been tested for the virus.
“While the risk of spread of COVID-19 within British Columbia remains low at this time, we continue to focus efforts on containing and delaying the spread of transmission, as well as preparing for the possibility of a pandemic. A pandemic is the spread of an illness to a large number of people on a global scale.”
On Monday, Henry announced there was a seventh case in B.C. in a man in his 40s who had been in close contact with a woman who was the province’s sixth case.
So far, there have been eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., 11 in Ontario, and one in Quebec.
There have been no deaths associated with the illness in Canada.
South of the border, U.S. health officials announced on Saturday the first death from COVID-19 in the country.
U.S. President Donald Trump said the woman in was in her late 50s and was considered a “medically high-risk patient.”
While it’s the first death from the virus in the U.S., it’s not the first death of an American. Earlier this month, a 60-year-old died from COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the outbreak.
There have been at least 60 confirmed cases in the U.S.
With files The Canadian Press and The Associated Press