A person in Alberta, Canada, died this week from a case of H5N1 bird flu, the first such case in North America, Canadian officials confirmed Wednesday.
The victim was traveling from Beijing when symptoms first appeared on Dec. 27, the Associated Press reported. Officials declined to release the name or sex of the victim, who died Jan. 3. They said they don't know how the person contracted the virus.
"This is not a disease that's transmitted between humans so unless you were in the infected in the area and were in contact with an infected bird you are not going to get this illness," Dr. Theresa Tam of Health Canada said.
Dr. Gregory Taylor said that it is the first evidence of this particular virus circulating in Beijing and that Chinese authorities have been put on alert.
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