Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). The new coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2.
The symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.
While many of the characteristics of COVID-19 are still unknown, mild to severe illness has been reported for confirmed cases.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
As of February 8, 2020, B.C. has four confirmed cases of COVID-19. The highest number of infections continue to be reported from Hubei Province, China.