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First deadly case of avian flu confirmed in North America

Published time: January 08, 2014 22:13
AFP Photo / Tengku Bahar

AFP Photo / Tengku Bahar

Canadian health officials confirmed the first deadly case of H5N1 avian flu in North America, following the death of a person in western Canada after a trip to China in December.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose revealed that the individual was a resident of Alberta who had travelled to Beijing, China. During the press-conference the minister added that the case is “isolated” and the risk to the general population remains low. “This case is not part of the seasonal flu,” she said.

“Avian influenza is not easily transmitted from person to person. It is not the same virus that is currently present in seasonal influenza in Alberta,” said Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Officials will be contacting everyone who was aboard the same flights with the now deceased individual, but believe that no one is at risk.

Alberta has recorded 10 deaths from the H1N1 influenza during the current flu season.

But, H5N1 rarely infects humans and usually targets domestic poultry in various parts of Asia and the Middle East.

Health officials highlight that the flu does not spread between humans. When people do get infected, their lower respiratory tract is targeted, which can lead to deadly pneumonia.

So far, there had been 38 human cases reported in 2013, which led to 24 deaths.

Comments (3)


Matthew Carmody 20.02.2014 02:59

I wouldn't expect rt to be the one running alarmist headlines to frighten Americans. Completely useless headline and not really a story at all. Shame on you.


Joseph 09.01.2014 00:55

I checked the Canadian news.
Why is there no mention of the person's identity?
We would have that if he was shot in a school.
Why was he in China?, where did he go?, were others with him? Flu stories always very vague.
What were his exact symptoms? He old was He/ she?
Did he have any other conditions? Was there an out break in that area of China? What do the Chinese Health officials say? Who tested for the disease? Are flu vaccines on the increase now???????


lZorce 09.01.2014 00:31

RockyFjord 08.01.2014 22:57

Ever wonder why all influenzas start in China, or so it seems? I'd like to know, if anyone can tell me? And why all these bird flus start there as well? Is it due to over population?


Due to overpopulation. Viruses thrive in an environment full of hosts to infect and spread. It's nature in action, just that humans try to go against it, making the diseases more immune & deadly.

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