Coronavirus under the microscope. Supplied by BC Centre for Disease Control.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization isn’t calling the Coronavirus a pandemic, at least not yet.
As the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases spike globally, there have been seven confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the province and Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provided an update on the situation earlier today.
Henry said if you have symptoms of the Coronavirus, avoid contact with other people.
“If you have any symptoms at all, of a cold or influenza, even if they’re mild, then stay away from others, take care of yourself, let your body heal,” said Henry.
“If you’ve been to areas, particularly those where we know there’s been the transmission of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider, call 811 (HealthLink), or call public health and we can make sure you get assessed and tested if needed,” said Henry.
While BC has seven of the eleven confirmed cases in the country (Ontario has other four), Health Minister Adrian Dix said with just under one thousand tests of Coronavirus in the province as of last week, BC has conducted significantly more tests than the entire United States.
Henry said British Columbians have to deal with more than the deadly Coronavirus, but personal hygiene is crucial to protecting yourself.
“We know there’s still a lot of influenza being transmitted and other things. It happens in the schools every year, as we know,” said Henry.
“The other really important thing is hand hygiene, that is a simple, but an undervalued way of protecting ourselves and making sure that we don’t inoculate ourselves with all these respiratory viruses,” said Henry.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus present like the common cold and include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia in both lungs, but symptoms usually don’t show up for two weeks.
Dr. Henry encourages people to cough into their sleeves and cover their mouths.