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

Stanley Cup win for Surrey-based NHL scout who coached in North Delta

Grant Armstrong is among 11 WHL alumni currently with Tampa Bay Lightning

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Reincarnation, baby! Surrey singer and husband celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

White Rock shoots down mandatory mask motion

Coun. Scott Kristjanson asked city to prepare report on mandatory masks on public spaces

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Most Read