B.C.’s fifth case of the novel coronavirus newly named COVID-19 has been found and test samples are on their way to a federal laboratory in Winnipeg to confirm, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Bonnie Henry revealed February 14.
The woman lives in B.C.’s Interior Health region, and she is the first case in that region to be found.
"Her close contacts have been identified and are being contacted,” Dix and Henry said in a joint statement. “Interior Health is actively investigating.”
The patient is in isolation at home.
The other four cases are all in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and all remain in isolation, with public health teams providing care and support. It has been eight days since the most recent COVID-19 patient has been identified. Dix and Henry on February 6 revealed that B.C.'s third and fourth patients with the disease were a man and a woman who are both in their 30s, and from the Wuhan area of China, which is the epicentre of the disease.
A woman in her 50s tested positive for the disease on February 3, and was the province's second case.
The province's first COVID-19 patient is a man in his 40s who tested positive for the disease in late January.
“As of February 14, the BC Centre for Disease Control has tested almost 500 people for COVID-19,” Dix and Henry said. “In B.C., we have selected testing criteria with an intentionally low threshold to ensure a wide range of people are eligible for COVID-19 testing.”
The coronavirus COVID-19 has so far killed 1,384 people worldwide, while 64,461 people have tested positive. More than 99% of the cases are in mainland China.