B.C.’s provincial health officer tried to reassure residents of their safety Tuesday after the first confirmed case of Ebola was reported in the United States.
There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in B.C., and there has never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the country, Dr. Perry Kendall wrote in statement.
“Though the case in the U.S. is not unexpected, the risk to British Columbians remains very low, and B.C. has a system already in place to manage any potential cases that may come,” he said.
His comments came after officials at the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a patient at a Dallas hospital had tested positive for Ebola, the first such case diagnosed in the United States.
Kendall noted that the Ebola virus does not spread easily and can only do so through direct contact with bodily fluids. He added that people who are not showing symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever are not contagious.
“We have been working with our colleagues locally and nationally to ensure we are ready for any potential case. Infection control systems and procedures in Canadian hospitals are supported by a series of infection control guidelines used across the country, and B.C. emergency rooms and hospitals remain ready to identify, isolate and treat any suspected Ebola cases,” he said.