Illustration of coronavirus particles in the lung. Different strains of coronavirus are responsible for diseases such as the common cold, gastroenteritis and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). A new coronavirus (2019-CoV) emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The virus causes a mild respiratory illness that can develop into pneumonia and be fatal in some cases. The coronaviruses take their name from their crown (corona) of surface proteins, which are used to attach and penetrate their host cells. Once inside the cells, the particles use the cells’ machinery to make more copies of the virus. (Photo by: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via AP Images)

POLL: Are you worried about coronavirus hitting Vernon?

The fifth case of COVID-19 has been identified as the Interior’s first

The first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Interior Health Region, according to B.C. health officials.

A woman in her 30s had recently travelled back to British Columbia from Shangahi. She landed in the Vancouver International Airport before travelling in a private vehicle to her home in the Interior — including Kamloops, the Okanagan, the Kootenays and Cariboo. Here, she has isolated herself in her home.

The woman was around “a very small number of close contacts,” chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday.

Now that five people from British Columbia have contracted the virus, Black Press is curious if you are worried about it?

Morning Star readers appear to be divided based on interactions made over social media. Many appear to be unconcerned, while others are taking more precaution.

The Vernon School District said the coronavirus is being taken seriously in local schools.

“We wish to see our families and staff staying healthy during this cold and flu season and encourage them to follow the guidelines in the letter to reduce their risk of exposure to any germs,” communications coordinator Maritza Reilly said in a statement.

Reducing the Risk The BC Centre for Disease Control recommends that to reduce the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus, individuals employ the same measures that are taken in relation to colds and flu:

  • Wash one’s hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water (it is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection).
  • Practice other good hygiene habits: do not touch one’s face/eyes/mouth with one’s hands and cover one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of the elbow).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces.
  • Maintain good general health (eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation).
  • Stay home if sick.

READ MORE: First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

READ MORE: Interior Health updates North Okanagan-Shuswap parents on coronavirus


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