The H5N1 Bird Flu had found its way to North America and the first fatal case of the flu was confirmed in Canada. According to Canadian health officials, the victim was traveling from China to Canada when he began to experience flu-like symptoms.
Health officials are saying that the case was an isolated one and that the public is not at risk at this time.
Because the man was traveling from Bejing, Chinese officials are concerned that he contracted the virus there as well.
“This is the first evidence of this particular virus circulating in Beijing. Chinese authorities are going to be very interested. We’ve contacted them already,” Dr. Gregory Taylor said.
Although the victim was onboard a flight when he began to feel ill, the World Health Organization says that it is not likely that anyone was infected. The victim’s family is being monitored and so far, none of them have tested positive for the Bird Flu.
“The patient’s family is not showing any sign of illness. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission on airplanes. All evidence indicates this is one isolated case in an individual who is infected following exposure in China,” said Alberta Chief Medical Officer James Talbot.
The Bird Flu was given its name because it is transmitted through contact with sick birds. It cannot be transmitted from person to person. Chinese health officials are still trying to determine how the victim may have contracted the deadly illness.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.