114 samples have been tested in B.C. for the coronavirus.
The province’s health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they continue to remain vigilant.
“We are now at the point where people who have traveled here to BC and to Canada who are incubating this disease may start showing symptoms,” she said. “Some of the new data that has come out of China has shown that the incubation period is as we expected for the most part around a maximum of ten days.”
Henry said they have been using 14 days to give a bit of a buffer zone and that the average incubation period is about five days.
She added they want to reassure people that the risk of the coronavirus spreading within B.C. remains low at this time.
B.C. continues to have only one confirmed case.
“I have been getting a lot of questions as to why we are putting all this effort into this virus when we have a lot of respiratory viruses this time of year; we have influenza every year that causes an increased number of deaths and illness in people across the province, and the reason is because this is a new virus that has just jumped the species barrier into humans,” Henry said. “We had the same issue with SARS and it does cause very severe illness in some people, but we have one opportunity as a global community to push this back and this is our opportunity now. If we do not take all the measures that we can take right now to make sure that we eradicate this virus from the human population then we may end up with yet another ongoing endemic infection like influenza that we will have to deal with every year that causes severe illness and some death in the human population.”
Anyone who is concerned that they may have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 811.
Henry said regular handwashing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and avoiding contact with sick people are important ways to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, generally.