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B.C. has identified 2 more presumptive cases of novel coronavirus

VANCOUVER — Health officials have identified two more presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus in British Columbia.

The latest coronavirus patients are visitors from China’s Hubei province, and have been staying with a B.C. woman who was identified as the province’s second coronavirus patient earlier this week.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said officials are “quite confident” the woman caught the coronavirus from one of her visitors.

“Having done the epidemiology and the investigation within that household, one of these individuals is very likely … the source for the case that we announced on Tuesday here in British Columbia,” Henry told reporters Thursday.

The doctor said the new patients are a man and woman in their 30s. Health officials previously revealed the visitors left China before the country imposed strict travel restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, but said they were conscious of the outbreak and minimized their time in public after they arrived in Canada.

The three patients remain in isolation at the same home, which is located somewhere in the Vancouver Coastal Health region that includes Richmond, Vancouver and the North Shore.

Officials have also traced the contacts they had before testing positive for the coronavirus and are keeping track of whether those individuals develop symptoms.

Henry said she has heard concerns that the B.C. woman was potentially infected while her visitors were asymptomatic, but said that is not the case.

She said the suspected source of the infection had been suffering “relatively mild” symptoms and had not sought medical attention.

“Young people, particularly young healthy people, can have very mild illnesses that may appear like a cold,” Henry said.

This is a developing story. It will be updated throughout the day.

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