A sixth presumptive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been found in British Columbia — the first such instance not involving someone who had recently returned from China.
On Thursday, B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix and B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, revealed that a woman in her 30s, who resides in the Fraser Health region and who recently returned from Iran, is presumed positive for the virus. Iran has recorded two deaths from COVID-19, one of six countries to thus far have virus-related deaths.
Samples have been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg for final confirmation.
The patient's close contacts will be identified and contacted by public-health officials and the patient remains at her home in isolation.
Of the five other B.C. patients who contracted the virus, one of whom is a woman residing in the Interior Health region, one person has recovered and the remaining four people remain in self-isolation and under care by public-health teams.
The risk of this virus spreading within B.C. remains low at this time, according to health officials.
According to the World Health organization, as of Feb. 21, there have been 76,769 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, of which almost all — 75,569— are in China. There have been 1,200 laboratory-confirmed cases outside of China, spread among 28 countries, including eight in Canada.
There have been 2,239 deaths related to COVID-19, with eight outside of China: one in South Korea, one in Japan, one in the Philippines and one in France, two in Iran and two aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the waters of Japan.