Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has announced that they are now screening for the new coronavirus with pneumonia-like symptoms, originating from Wuhan, China.
Along with messaging on arrival screens, “an additional health screening question will be added to electronic border kiosks in the customs hall.”
YVR does not have direct flights to or from Wuhan, but several airports in North America remain on high alert due to the proximity to the Spring Festival/Lunar New Year, a time of year that sees a lot of travelers.
According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC) and Washington Post, the symptoms of the coronavirus include:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Fever and cough
- Respiratory problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Kidney failure
- Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Coronaviruses are viruses associated with the common cold and pneumonia that affect the respiratory tract of mammals, including humans. They are common among various specials of animals, such as bats and camels, but in severe cases the viruses can evolve and infect humans.
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) are two recent and prominent examples.
Like SARS, this new Wuhan coronavirus also originated in China, being traced to a seafood market in Wuhan.
The Chinese government was aware of the outbreak dating back to late-December, but did not reveal that it had spread to cities outside of Wuhan until this week.
According to the New York Times, “it was only after the Hong Kong news media reported that cases of the coronavirus had been detected elsewhere that the government began acknowledging, early Monday, that the disease had spread to other cities.”
Many, including citizens who reside in China, are criticizing the government, currently led by President Xi Jinping, leader of the Communist Part of China, for its lack of transparency. China has been widely accused of and criticized for covering up the initial outbreak of the SARS virus back in 2003.
“I hope the government will report the epidemic honestly. That’s how to set people’s minds at ease”, one resident told the New York Times.
It is important to note, however, that the transmissibility of the virus is believed to be not high, as relatives of patients have not gotten sick so far.
This is to say that while the virus is spreading, nothing spreads like fear.
For more Metro Vancouver news, stay tuned to 604 Now News.
Get more 604, delivered to your inbox
Plan your next night out, enter contests, and stay connected.