A COVID-19 coronavirus patient is treated in Hubei province, China, where the virus emerged, February, 2020. (The Associated Press)

B.C.’s three latest COVID-19 cases related to travel from Iran

Four cases identified Tuesday make 12, all in isolation at home

B.C. health officials identified three more cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, all related to travel to and from Iran and all in isolation at home.

The latest cases bring the total of positive tests for B.C. to 12, following one identified earlier Tuesday. One was a woman in her 30s who was in contact with case eight, and was already in isolation after case eight returned from Iran and developed symptoms.

Earlier Tuesday, B.C.’s ninth case of the novel coronavirus was identified. He is a man in his 50s who recently returned from a trip to Iran, which has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days.

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said all of the new cases are in isolation at home. None of the dozen cases found so far in B.C. has been traced to transmission in his or her home community, and all contracted the virus from travel to China or Iran.

“This is an extraordinary situation globally,” Henry said Tuesday, adding that people should be careful with identifying symptoms and take precautions when travelling.

Security at U.S. border crossings has been stepped up this week after a cluster of cases was identified in Washington state, mostly in a Kirkland-area seniors home. Six of those patients have died, but all the cases identified in B.C. have so far recovered or are recovering with monitoring.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C. is spending “what is necessary” to do extensive testing of suspected coronavirus cases, which is the most effective approach. U.S. officials are dealing with larger outbreaks after doing less testing.

Henry said B.C.’s laboratory is running up to three sets of test per day, with results available within 24 hours.


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