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Health Alert: First Case of H5N1, Avian Flu, in North America

EDMONTON, Canada (WKRC) -- Canadian doctors confirm a person living in Alberta has died from H5N1, the Avian Flu. 

It's the first case of the virus in North America.  It's also the first case of H5N1 infection ever imported by a traveler into a country where the virus is not present in poultry.  No such H5N1 viruses have been detected in people or in animals in the United States.

A spokesman with the Public Health Agency of Canada provided details of the case, and tried to reassure Canadians.

"This is an isolated case. The individual began to feel unwell on a return flight from Beijing to Vancouver on Air Canada 303, and Vancouver to Edmonton, Air Canada 244 on December the 27th, 2013. The symptoms worsened and the individual is hospitalized and passed away on January 3rd."

Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say most of the human cases of H5N1 infections detected since 2003 occurred in people with direct or close contact with poultry.




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