Passengers wear masks as they arrive at the international arrivals area at the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., Thursday, January 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

With at a half-dozen possible cases of coronavirus being investigated in Canada, authorities are trying to screen people coming into the country for symptoms.

International airports in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have added messaging about the spreading virus to signs and kiosks, and travellers are asked to informed border agents if they have symptoms.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, symptoms can include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and a fever in milder coronavirus cases, while serious cases can cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) , which can could lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, kidney failure and death.

Although the World Health Organization did not declare a global health emergency due to the disease, more than 500 people have been infected in China after the outbreak started in the city of Wuhan.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher witnesses coronavirus terror in Shanghai

More than a dozen people have died in China as of Thursday and Canadian authorities are monitoring five to six possible cases in the country. There are suspected cases in Ontario, Quebec and one in the Vancouver area. American authorities have confirmed one case of coronavirus in Washington State.

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

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver airports have been identified as the most likely entry point for coronavirus. Additional health screening questions have been added to kiosks, informing travellers about coronavirus and asking them if they’ve been to Wuhan.

If a traveller shows signs of the virus, the Canadian Border Services Agency is the first point of contact under the Quarantine Act, and will conduct a preliminary screening. If the CBSA officer suspects an infection, they can contact a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) quarantine officer

The quarantine officer will do a more detailed assessment about where the traveller has been, when they were there and what symptoms they may have, the agency said.

“If deemed necessary, the quarantine officer can then take the appropriate measures to address the potential public health risk,” PHAC said in a statement. Those measures included ordering the traveller to be transported to hospital to undergo a medical examination and to report to the local public health authority.

READ MORE: One person in Vancouver being monitored for coronavirus, feds say

READ MORE: Risk to Canadians of Chinese coronavirus low, health minister says


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

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

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

LETTER: Keeping Canada-U.S. borders closed is issue of safety, not bigotry

Only walls Trump deserves come in a set of four, and are found in a prison or institution: Reader

LETTER: CERB is simply worsening overdose issues in Maple Ridge

Taxpayer money is going to help buy more drugs and increase cases of death on local streets: Reader

Ridge Meadows Soccer welcomes former Whitecaps coach to club

Craig Dalrymple will join organization as new sporting director

Problems delay opening of sheets at Planet Ice Maple Ridge

Getting hold of parts, making repairs mean rinks won’t be available until January: facilities manager

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read