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Canada confirms first death from bird flu in North America

Health officials have stressed that the risk to the population is extremely low.

A scientists tests a sample from a dead bird.
A scientists tests a sample from a dead bird.
Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

HEALTH AUTHORITIES IN Canada have said that the first death from avian flu has taken place in North America.

The death happened in the western plains province of Alberta. The patients had just returned from China.

“I am here to confirm North America’s first human case of H5N1, also known as avian flu,” Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose told a press conference this evening, confirming the patient died.

Officials said the victim, whose gender and other identifying traits were withheld to protect the family’s privacy, had recently returned from a trip to Beijing.

The otherwise healthy individual, who had travelled with two companions, was admitted to hospital with a fever and headache and passed away on January 3.

Officials stressed the risk to the population is “extremely low” as there are no known cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus.

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- © AFP, 2014

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