British Columbia's health minister and provincial health officer say officials are closely monitoring an international outbreak of respiratory illness linked to a novel coronavirus after a case was confirmed across the border in Washington state Tuesday.
Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry say in a joint statement there have been no cases of illness caused by the coronavirus in Canada and the risk to British Columbians is considered low.
However, they say health-care workers have been asked to be vigilant and take a travel history for anyone reporting respiratory symptoms following an outbreak first identified in China.
The BC Centre for Disease Control has developed a diagnostic test for the new coronavirus, which is different from the SARS outbreak when there was no similar test.
Public health teams have also implemented screening for early detection of infections for travellers arriving in airports.
Dix and Henry say quarantine officers are available at Vancouver International Airport to co-ordinate response and Richmond Hospital infection control practitioners are ready to respond should there be a need to investigate.
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