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First North American Death From H5N1 Bird Flu

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WebMD News from HealthDay

Jan. 9, 2014 -- The first death in North America from H5N1 bird flu has been reported in Alberta, Canada. The victim was a resident of the province who had recently traveled to Beijing, China.

Health officials said there was no risk of transmission of the virus between humans, CBC News reported.

The patient first showed symptoms on a Dec. 27 flight from Beijing to Vancouver. The person then spent a few hours in the Vancouver airport before taking a flight to Edmonton.

The patient was admitted to hospital Jan. 1. The symptoms of headache, fever and malaise worsened and the patient died Jan. 3. The Public Health Agency of Canada was notified about the case Jan. 5, and the H5N1 infection was confirmed in a lab test Wednesday night, CBC News reported.

Officials said they do not know how the patient was infected. The patient did not leave Beijing, did not visit any markets and did not travel to farms.

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