Public Health Update: Coronavirus

FOR DISTRIBUTION TO PARENTS/GUARDIANS:
 
Vancouver Coastal Health Medical Health Officers are monitoring reports of the novel coronavirus (named 2019-nCoV), first identified in Wuhan, China. While there have been cases identified outside of China, all of these individuals are known to have recently travelled to the Wuhan area.
 
Currently, there are no reports of cases in Canada. Public Health officials are working together to ensure that any unusual illness in arriving travellers is being appropriately screened. Physicians have also been requested to notify Public Health of any illness of concern in patients who were recently in the Wuhan area.
 
The Richmond School District has been advised that the risk to the general public, including school-age children, is very low. Medical Health Officers continue to monitor the situation closely, and will provide further advice and information as it becomes available.  For further information, please visit Vancouver Coastal Health weblink.
 
At this time, reports indicate that, similar to influenza, this virus is spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Most of the reported cases are only showing mild symptoms and are well enough to stay home. As with influenza, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe disease and require hospitalization.
 
In the meantime, we would remind everyone to follow proper hygiene etiquette during the cold & flu season. This includes proper hand-washing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick.​