The H5N1 strain of bird flu has claimed the life a Canadian resident.
It marks the first time a person has died from H5N1 in North America. The H5N1 death was confirmed by Canada’s Health Minister on Wednesday. H5N1 infections have not been found in the U.S. so far, CNN notes.
The Canadian Health Minister said that the H5N1 death was “an isolated case” and that the public should not be worried because there is no evidence of “human-to-human transmission” of the H5N1 virus. The minister noted that the “risk of H5N1 to Canadians is very low.” U.S. officials appear to agree, and are not urging any additional anti-H5N1 measures in the wake of the H5N1 death in Canada.
H5N1 infected poultry has been identified in Africa and Asia.
About 648 people are known to have been infected by H5N1 worldwide. Health officials have linked most H5N1 infections to contact with contaminated poultry.
The Canadian victim, had recently visited China where the H5N1 virus has been linked to a number of deaths.
A new strain of the deadly bird flu, H7N9, has been identified in China.