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Bird flu kills Canadian on return from China

09 January 2014, 08:25

Ottawa - A Canadian has died from H5N1 avian influenza after returning from a trip to China in what is the only current confirmed case of its kind in North America, federal health officials said on Wednesday.

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% of those infected, they added.

The person, who travelled to China in December, died in the western province of Alberta on 3 January. Officials warned Canadians to avoid coming into contact with birds in China.

The Alberta health ministry said in a statement that in 2013, there were 38 world-wide cases of H5N1 avian influenza reported to the World Health Organisation and 24 deaths.

- Reuters


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