1 Dead from H5N1 Bird Flu Infection in Canada, 1st in North America
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | January 9, 2014 12:28 PM EST
At least one person has died in Canada from the fatal H5N1 avian influenza infection, the first ever also from the entire North America. The victim succumbed to the disease after recently travelling to Beijing, China in December 2013.
The victim who hailed from Alberta began feeling sick on Dec 27 on a return flight from Beijing aboard Air Canada flight 030. Admitted to the hospital on Jan 1, the person died Jan 3.
Dr Gregory Taylor, deputy chief at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the person was found travelling with two other companions. The latter are currently under vigilant monitoring for the following 10 days to see if they contradicted the disease from the victim. Symptoms generally appear within two to five days.
Some of these symptoms could include fever, malaise and headache.
The Albertan however showed no respiratory symptoms, which are common in H5N1 infections, despite lab tests confirming it was the H5N1 virus that infected the person.
Dr Taylor however said there still remains "no evidence" the disease was transferred through human-to-human contact.
On this note, Canada has yet to issue travel advisories for China.
"The risk of getting H5N1 is very low," Rona Ambrose, Canadian Health Minister, said on Wednesday in Ottawa. "This case is not part of the seasonal flu, which circulates in Canada every year."
"The illness [H5N1] causes in humans is severe and kills about 60 per cent of those who are infected," Dr Taylor said.
"No other illnesses of this type have been identified in Canada since the traveller returned from China. This is an isolated case."
So far, the individual's family members have not shown any signs of illness.
There have been 648 lab-confirmed human cases of H5N1 flu reported in 15 countries since 2003. According to the World Health Organization, 384 people have died from H5N1 over the last decade. In 2013, there were 24 deaths from the infection.
H5N1 is commonly found in birds, mainly poultry, in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Economic Growth In US And Sub-Saharan Africa Allay 2015 Recession Fears
- Travel Alert: Over 200 Canadians Infected with Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus
- Canadian Ebola Drug: Tekmira Firm Starts Limited Manufacturing of Vaccine, Available By December; Shares Up
- US Dedicates 5 Airports for Travellers From Ebola-Stricken Nations, Lawmakers Want Travel Ban
- WHO Races to Release Ebola Serum in 2 Weeks, Vaccines in January
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- Three Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Variants Comes To China
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28