Visitors from Wuhan ‘certain’ to have infected Vancouver woman with coronavirus, making her British Columbia’s second patient
- The woman and her guests are all under isolation in the same home, say Canadian authorities who are tracing their recent movements
- Despite the apparent case of human-to-human transmission, none of the visitors has shown any symptoms
Visitors from the central China city of Wuhan appear to have infected a Vancouver woman with the new coronavirus, likely making her British Columbia’s second and Canada’s fifth confirmed case, local health authorities said.
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said health officials were “quite certain” that someone in the small group of visitors had infected the woman in her 50s, and authorities were now trying to trace their recent movements.
The group and the woman were under isolation in the same home, said Henry, who added that the patient was in a stable condition. But despite the apparent case of human-to-human transmission of the disease, none of the visitors had shown any symptoms.
The woman fell ill a few days ago, and on Monday tested positive for the virus, said Henry at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. The visitors had left Wuhan before travel restrictions were imposed on the city, the epicentre of the disease’s outbreak.
She said efforts were under way to “trace back any movements that these people have had” and identify anyone who had had close contact with them.
But she said the group appeared to have been “well aware” of the Wuhan outbreak and its implications and had been “minimising contact with people outside the home”.
Authorities were “working diligently to get the details” of how the woman became infected, Henry said.
If the suspected transmission route is confirmed, the case would add to the 27 cases of the coronavirus being spread person to person in nine countries outside China that have been identified by the World Health Organisation.
Under Canadian protocols, a second test must be conducted at a national lab before the new case is officially confirmed. Henry said she was confident of the diagnosis.
The first case of coronavirus in British Columbia was announced on January 28, in a man in his 40s who had recently travelled to Wuhan.
On Friday, health authorities said 114 people had been tested for the virus in the province.