A woman has died in Canada from the H5N1 strain of bird flu after becoming ill a week ago following a visit to Beijing.
It is the first reported fatal case in North America.
H5N1 influenza is not the same as seasonal flu and there is no evidence of sustained human to human transition – that is according to Canadian Health officials.
Doctor Gregory Taylor, Alberta’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer gave further explanations:
“The illness it causes in humans is severe and kills about 60 percent of those who are infected. No other illnesses of this type have been identified in Canada since the traveller returned from China. This is an isolated case.”
At the moment it is not known how the person contracted the virus. Most of the 648 cases world wide have been in Asia.
The news comes as a man in Hong Kong has become the third person in the city to contract the newest strain of bird flu that of the H7N9 virus.
All three victims there are said to have been in contact with infected poultry.