Canadian federal public health officials have announced the first fatal case of the H5N1 bird flu in North America.
During a live video press conference this afternoon, Health Minister Rona Ambrose has indicated that the case was located in Edmonton and is isolated.
This H5N1 bird flu case is not to be confused with the seasonal flu and outbreak of H1N1. However, the risk to the public is said to be very low.
The deceased individual was recently in China and flew on a Beijing-Vancouver Air Canada flight on December 27, 2013. The victim was at Vancouver International Airport for several hours before transferring onto a flight to Edmonton.
The World Health Organization says that as of mid-December, there had been 648 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 flu, reported from 15 countries. Of that total, 384 infections or approximately 60 per cent have been fatal.
Source: Canadian Press | Image: Biohazardous Canada via Shutterstock