Kelowna General Hospital is taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the Interior (File photo)

Kelowna General Hospital takes steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

So far, at least six people have died and 275 people have contracted the virus worldwide

After U.S. officials confirmed their first case of the coronavirus near Seattle on Jan. 21, Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) chief of staff Dr. Mark Masterson has outlined steps his staff are taking to ensure the virus doesn’t spread throughout the B.C. Interior.

Masterson said medical workers are taking a variety of precautions to ensure the virus doesn’t spread into communities.

READ MORE: U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

“We are looking for fever and acute respiratory illness, along with anyone who recently travelled to Wuhan, China within 14 days prior to symptom onset,” said Masterson.

If a patient is found to have the coronavirus at an Interior Health hospital, Masterson said the patient will be kept in isolation.

Masterson said the virus hasn’t been recorded in Canada yet.

“Currently, there are no reports of confirmed cases of infection in Canada of this coronavirus and we are not aware of any cases involving Canadians overseas,” said Masterson.

“All of KGH’s Emergency Department staff and infection control practitioners are aware of the coronavirus and have protocols for patients who might be present with symptoms that could indicate a more serious illness.”

According to a joint statement released by Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, the risk to residents in the province is considered low.

International airports are also stepping up their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Canada’s public health agency said message screens have been put up at Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver airports to inform passengers of what to do if they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The BC Centre for Disease Contron said they’re also monitoring a recent outbreak of a respiratory illness linked to the coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold; others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.

So far, 17 people have died from the virus and approximately 547 people have been infected.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Meet the ultimate Penticton Vees fan

Jon Race owns an epic collection of Vees jerseys and hasn’t missed a home game in 15 years.

Mink farm once operated in Summerland

From 1967 to 1973, the Nielsen family raised mink

Penticton Vees clinch overtime win against Bulldogs

The Vees came from behind in a thrilling 3-2 win over Aberni Valley at home.

City of Penticton to host annual Family Day event

Wondering what to do with the extra day off?

VIDEO: Couple claim to see UFO near Penticton

Flashing, flying object over Okanagan Lake spotted in Naramata and caught on video.

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Vernon RCMP investigating ‘serious’ early-morning assault

Vernon RCMP were advised of the alleged assault around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Most Read