Fatal case of H5N1 bird flu reported in Canada

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian health officials say a fatal case of H5N1 bird flu has been reported in Canada, the first such case in North America. The victim was travelling from China when symptoms first appeared.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the case, in Alberta, was an isolated one and that the risk to the general public is very low.

Officials say the person arrived in Canada via a flight from Beijing. There is no evidence that anyone else was infected by the victim.

The World Health Organization says that as of mid-December, there had been 648 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 flu, reported mostly in Asia. Of that total, 384 infections have been fatal.

Experts say the virus remains hard to catch with most human infections linked to contact with infected poultry.

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