Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First human case of bird flu confirmed in North America

Health officials said the first human case of case of H7N9 bird flu has been detected in North America.

A female resident of British Colombia had recently returned from a trip to China when she was diagnosed with the virus.

She did not show signs of illness during the trip or on the flight home and only became ill two days after returning to Canada on January 12.

"The individual did not require hospitalization and is currently recovering from their illness in self-isolation," the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.

The woman's traveling companion also fell ill but is not confirmed as having the disease.

Federal health officials said there is no risk to the general public and in this instance there was no proof of human-to-human transmission of the disease.

The H7N9 strain has infected over 500 people in China since 2013 said Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Gregory Taylor.

There have been some previous cases of travelers becoming infected in China and exporting it to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The agency believes the couple may have become infected by waste from a poultry farm.

H7N9 bird flu symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, which can lead to pneumonia and is fatal in some cases.

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