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First Death From Bird Flu Reported In North America

Update Date: Jan 09, 2014 11:04 AM EST
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A Canadian who traveled Beijing has died of bird flu although the risk of transmission is less, Canadian health officials have confirmed.

“I am here to confirm North America’s first human case of H5N1, also known as avian flu,” Canada Health Minister Rona Ambrose said, in a press conference according to RTE.ie. “I want to reassure the public this is an isolated case and the risk of H5N1 to Canadians is very low. There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.”

A relatively young person, whose sex age or occupation was not revealed was health officials, was affected with avian flu - H5N1fatality. The person did not have any underlying health conditions and neither had contact with chickens on a farm or in an open market.

The unidentified person first showed the symptoms of avian flu on Dec 27 flight from Beijing to Vancouver aboard Air Canada flight 030. A week later the person was hospitalized with symptoms of fever malaise and headache.

Experts suspected that it was the inflammation of the brain and linings that covered the brain had a role.

“That is one of the ways that H5N1 patients die,” Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, according to UPI.com. “Virtually every case has a pretty strong link to a close contact with birds.”

However he ruled out for any increased risk. “The risk of getting H5N1 is very low. This is not the regular seasonal flu,” Ambrose added.“This is an isolated case.”

Officials said they were tracking the people and family that traveled close with the person but confirmed that there were no sign of sickness among them.

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