Canadian Health Officials Report North America’s First H5N1 Case

News outlets summarize information reported on Wednesday by Canadian health officials, who recorded North America’s first known case of H5N1 avian influenza infection in an Alberta woman who died last week.

Canadian Press: Fatal case of H5N1 bird flu reported in Alberta, first North American case
“Canada has reported North America’s first case of H5N1 bird flu infection, in an Alberta resident who recently returned from a month’s visit to China…” (Goodman/Branswell, 1/8).

CTV Edmonton: Albertan dies from avian flu, health officials confirm
“Officials with the federal government and the provincial government said Wednesday that one Alberta resident had become the first case of avian flu in North America — and had died from the illness last week…” (Parrish, 1/8).

Bloomberg News: Canada Reports First Case in North America of H5N1 Flu
“…The individual had traveled to China in December and was admitted to hospital Jan. 1 before dying Jan. 3, Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne said in a statement. No more cases are expected in Alberta because of the rare nature of the flu and the precautions taken by authorities, Horne said in the statement…” (Argitis, 1/8).

Reuters: Canadian dies from H5N1 avian influenza on return from China
“…Officials at a briefing in Ottawa said that the case was isolated and there was minimal risk to the general public. The H5N1 strain — normally spread through contact with infected birds — kills about 60 percent of those infected, they added…” (1/8).

New York Times: Bird Flu Cited by Officials in Death in Canada
“…The [Canadian health] minister, Rona Ambrose, and several public health officials, insisted that the death was an isolated case and posed little or no risk to the general public. They said that the victim did not appear to have contracted the H5N1 virus from human contact during a trip to Beijing last month and was unlikely to have passed it along when returning to Alberta…” (Austen, 1/8).

BBC News: First N. America H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Canada
“…Canadian federal health officials said they would not identify the patient’s sex, age or occupation. Ms. Ambrose said Canadian officials were working with Chinese authorities on the case…” (1/8).

United Press International: First H5N1 bird flu death in North America confirmed in Canada
“…There have been only 650 reported cases of H5N1, with more than 60 percent of them resulting in death. The World Health Organization recorded 38 cases of H5N1 last year, including 24 deaths. This is the first death in North America” (Baliga, 1/8).

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