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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:18 pm 
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Media reports say symptomatic couple (H7N9 confirmed in wife) flew back on Air Canada flight, non-stop from Hong Kong to Vancouver.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:18 pm 
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The couple flew home on Air Canada Flight 8 from Hong Kong to Vancouver, landing Jan. 12.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/bri ... e22638787/

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:30 pm 
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FLIGHT AC008
DELAYED (IN FLIGHT) Air Canada
Boeing 777-300
Duration:11 hours 50 minutesDistance:10,285km Meals:Business Class - Breakfast, Meal
Premium Economy - Breakfast, Meal
Economy - Breakfast, Meal
HKG
Monday, 26 Jan
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
(Hong Kong)
Scheduled 19:50
19:40
Departed
Terminal
1

Gate
-

Sunny High: 20°C (68°F)
Low: 17°C (63°F) YVR
Monday, 26 Jan
Vancouver, British Columbia
(Vancouver)
Scheduled 15:15
15:30
Terminal
INT

Gate
D64

Sunny with cloudy periods High: 13°C (55°F)
Low: 7°C (45°F)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:34 pm 
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H7N9 bird flu diagnosed in B.C. traveller; first in North America
THE CANADIAN PRESS
JANUARY 26, 2015 11:09 AM

Health workers in full protective gear pick up a killed chicken after suffocated them by using carbon dioxide at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Canadian health authorities say they have have diagnosed a case of H7N9 bird flu in a British Columbia resident who recently returned from China. Photograph By Vincent Yu, The Associated Press
TORONTO - A woman from British Columbia is the first person in North America to be diagnosed with H7N9 bird flu, after apparently contracting the virus while travelling in China earlier this month, Canadian health officials said Monday.

A man travelling with the woman was also sick with an influenza-like illness around the same time and it's believed he too was infected, but test results are still pending, said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s deputy provincial health officer.

"We think it's very likely that the other person also had the same influenza," Henry said during a teleconference organized by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The couple, who are in their 50s, were not sick enough to require hospitalization. They were treated with the flu drug oseltamivir — sold under the brand name Tamiflu — and were self-isolating in their home, said Dr. Reka Gustafson, medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health.

Their names were not released and officials would only say that they were residents of B.C.'s Lower Mainland region. They have recovered, the officials said.

H7N9 is a subtype of flu that infects poultry. But in March 2013, authorities in China reported several cases of human infections. Since then, nearly 500 human infections have been diagnosed, all either in China or in people who had travelled to China.

Roughly a third of the known infected patients died. The death rate is lower than that of the other main bird flu virus that sometimes infects people, H5N1, which kills roughly 60 per cent of the people who become infected.

Despite the fact it isn't as deadly, flu experts consider H7N9 to be at least as worrisome as H5N1.

For one thing, H7N9 seems to infect people more easily. And it doesn't make poultry visibly ill — which means it's impossible to know which chickens are infected. H5N1, on the other hand, is lethal to poultry; dying chickens make outbreaks easy to spot.

The Canadian couple returned home from China on Jan. 12 after spending a couple of weeks away. Two days later, the man became sick and about a day later, the woman fell ill. She went to her family doctor, who tested her for influenza.

''It was very classic influenza. Fever and a cough. Though one of the individuals we interviewed said that it did feel a little bit different. That's probably about as close as she could describe it. And it felt different enough for her to seek care," Gustafson said.

On Friday, B.C.'s provincial laboratory discovered the virus was probably an H7 virus — in other words, not a human flu — and sent a sample to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada's chief public health officer, said testing done on Monday morning at the Winnipeg lab confirmed the finding.

He and others stressed that the risk of further spread from these individuals is remote. Both have recovered and enough time has passed that it's thought if any of their contacts would have been infected, it would be apparent by now.

Taylor said Canada has informed the World Health Organization, as it is required to do under the International Health Regulations. And it is providing China with information on the cases.

But it appears unlikely that anyone will be able to determine precisely when and how the couple became infected. Henry said they reported being in a number of places where chickens were present, but that is common in China.

Last January, a woman from Red Deer, Alta., died of H5N1 bird flu, the first known case in North America. She too had recently returned from a trip to China, but officials couldn't determine how she became exposed to the virus.

"We never did find out exactly where that case came from and I would assume in this current one that we probably won't find out either," said Taylor. "It's extremely difficult to detect where that came from."

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/h7n9-bird- ... 8tK5J.dpuf

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:13 pm 
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If you want to return home, stay away from poultry markets: Canada's first case of H7N9 bird flu
Author Wu Wei | china@rcinet.ca
Monday 26 January, 2015 , No Comments ↓

Health Canada confirmed Monday that British Columbia has a human infection with H7N9 avian influenza. The patient is a 59-year-old woman, her multiple locations in China after traveling on January 12 return to British Columbia, on the 14th treatment, there is no danger.

Her male companion first fever, cough, cold symptoms, but the hospital has not confirmed his infection is H7N9. Both of them are not hospitalized, only taking Tamiflu. Health Ministry officials said that this type of bird flu is not easily transmitted, there is not the possibility of other patients.

Chinese health officials estimate that they both contact with a source of infection, but it will not be another two infections. Public Health Agency of Canada Leader Gregory Taylor says there is no evidence that the H7N9 virus from person to person infection.

Health Canada does not recommend the public avoid travel to China, but it is recommended people to stay away from poultry markets in China. In the past two years, China find out about five hundred cases of H7N9 avian influenza.

http://www.rcinet.ca/zh/2015/01/26/3115 ... um=twitter

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:43 pm 
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Canada Confirms First Case of H7N9 Avian Flu
British Columbia Woman Recently Returned From China
By NIRMALA MENON
Jan. 26, 2015 3:59 p.m. ET
0 COMMENTS
OTTAWA—Canadian officials said Monday they had confirmed the first case of the H7N9 strain of avian flu in North America but stressed that broader risks to the public were very slight.

The infected person was a British Columbia woman who recently had returned from China, and a man who had traveled with her was likely also infected, officials said. The couple weren’t sick enough to need hospitalization, they said, adding that both were recovering and that the family was self-isolating.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that the risk to Canadians is very low as there is no evidence to suggest that H7N9 transmits easily from person to person,” Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said.

Though most viruses that affect birds don’t cause disease in people, some, including H7N9, can make humans sick. Bird flu has become a global worry since an outbreak of the H5N1 strain in Hong Kong in 1997 killed six people.

The H7N9 strain is of particular concern because the infection doesn’t sicken birds, only humans, which makes the virus more difficult to detect. When it does infect humans, patients have become severely ill, according to the World Health Organization.

Canada has informed the WHO, Chinese officials and other international partners about the case, Ms. Ambrose said.

Officials said the couple, who were on a guided tour in China for part of the time and traveled on their own for the rest of the trip, were likely infected from a common source. The couple returned to Canada on Jan. 12, and the woman fell ill two days later.

“The couple got symptomatic within a day of each other so yes, we are very confident that this is an illness due to a common exposure rather than transmission from one person to another,” said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health.

H7N9 was first detected in people in March 2013 in China, according to the WHO website. Most of the cases of human infection have involved recent exposure to live poultry or potentially contaminated environments, such as markets. Sustained human-to-human transmission hasn’t been reported.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/canada-conf ... 1422305989

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:48 pm 
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Xinhua News Agency January 26, 2015 6:30pm
First H7N9 bird flu case of human infection confirmed in Canada

Placard ENLARGE
(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)
VANCOUVER, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- A woman resident of British Columbia, Canada, was confirmed to have been infected with H7N9 bird flu virus, becoming the first human infection case of the deadly virus in North America, federal health officials said Monday.

"The individual is a resident of British Columbia and was not symptomatic during travel and only became sick after arrival in Canada. The individual did not require hospitalization and is currently recovering from their illness, in self-isolation," the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.

It said the woman, in her 50s, returned to Canada on Jan. 12 from a trip to China with her partner and began feeling ill on Jan. 14, but she did not pose a risk to the public. Her partner was also ill and under care.

There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

"There is no indication that international spread has occurred, as contacts of the travelers did not develop illness," said the Public Health Agency of Canada.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news ... med-canada

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:52 pm 
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B.C. woman tests positive for H7N9 bird flu


BY SHARON KIRKEY, POSTMEDIA NEWS JANUARY 26, 2015 2:15 PM

The first North American human case of H7N9 bird flu has been confirmed in B.C.

Canadian health officials announced Monday that a woman in her 50’s from B.C.’s lower mainland has tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9), the potentially deadly virus that has infected hundreds of people in China since first emerging in humans in March 2013.

Another family member, a man, who travelled with the B.C. woman to China is believed to have been infected as well. They only developed symptoms after returning home to Canada earlier this month.

Both are recovering well and did not require hospitalization, federal health minister Rona Ambrose said during a hastily called press conference from Ottawa Monday.

Ambrose said the risk to Canadians is low, and that there is no evidence the virus transmits easily from person-to-person.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most known human infections with H7N9 resulted from exposure to infected live poultry, or contaminated environments, such as markets where poultry is sold and slaughtered.

Canada’s public health agency has notified China, WHO and other international agencies about the Canadian case, Ambrose said.

All potential contacts are being followed up, B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake said. “We are working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada to ensure a robust and coordinated response,” Lake said.

Common symptoms included fever, cough and shortness of breath. In China, most of the infected developed severe pneumonia. There have been at least 175 confirmed deaths in China.

H7N9 influenza isn’t the same as seasonal flu that circulates every winter, stressed Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada’s chief public health officer. H7N9 is an avian form of influenza that circulates among birds. However, this particular strain has never been found in wild or domestic birds in Canada, Taylor said.

It’s also not like H5N1 bird flu — the virus that last year infected and killed a young Alberta woman who had travelled to Beijing. H5N1 transmits more easily between birds, and between people, Taylor said.

The B.C woman with confirmed H7N9 became sick after returning to Canada on Jan. 12. Taylor said she had travelled to “various locations” in Canada. She began to feel sick on Jan. 14 and sought medical help but wasn’t sick enough to require hospitalization, Taylor said.

Officials said they’re confident the B.C. residents, who became sick within a day of each other, got sick from the same common exposure, rather than from transmitting the virus from one to the other.

Neither the man nor woman had symptoms while they were travelling. Officials said there is likely no risk to other travellers.

Both are in “self-isolation” at home. All close contacts have been identified and their health is being monitored. None of the identified contacts has developed flu-like illness. Given that, “it is extremely unlikely that we will see any additional cases here in B.C.,” said B.C. deputy provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Henry said it’s not surprising that a single case of human H7N9 infection has been imported to Canada, given the virus been circulating in China since 2013.

B.C. health officials notified the federal public health agency on Jan. 23 of that it was dealing with a potential case. A sample was sent to Canada’s national microbiology laboratory in Winnipeg on Sunday for testing. The lab confirmed the diagnosis Monday morning.



“All evidence is indicating that it is likely the individual was infected following exposure in China,” Taylor told reporters.

The woman and her male companion were visiting China as tourists. They didn’t visit poultry farms. “They did some touring of areas and villages in China where poultry are seen throughout the village but there was not a particularly high-risk exposure that we were able to identify,” Henry said.

Taylor said Canadians travelling to China should avoid high-risk areas, such as poultry farms and live animal markets, and ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked.

Anyone who has travelled to an infected area and becomes ill should seek medical attention, Henry said. “But call in advance, and let them know of your travel or exposure information so proper precautions can be taken.”

skirkey(at)postmedia.com

Twitter.com/sharon_kirkey

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/woma ... story.html

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:09 pm 
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H7N9 bird flu confirmed in B.C. resident who travelled to China
Woman had recently travelled to China with a companion who has also shown signs of illness

The first human case of H7N9 bird flu in North America has been confirmed in a woman from British Columbia who had recently visited China, federal health officials say.

The woman does not pose a risk to the public, officials said.

"The individual is a resident of British Columbia and was not symptomatic during travel and only became sick after arrival in Canada. The individual did not require hospitalization and is currently recovering from their illness, in self-isolation," the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.


The B.C. resident returned to Canada on Jan. 12 from China and began feeling ill on Jan. 14.

Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada's chief public health officer, said H7N9 is not the same as regular seasonal flu. There is no evidence of human to human transmission.

Health officials keep a lookout for bird flu viruses that easily spread from person to person as part of their pandemic plans.

Live poultry market likely source

The same strain of avian flu has caused over 500 illnesses in China since 2013, Taylor said.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most of the cases in China developed severe pneumonia and breathing difficulties, some resulting in death, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s deputy provincial health officer, said a second person, a man who travelled with the infected woman, likely had avian flu and remains a suspect case.

Since the two showed symptoms within a day of each other, health officials said they're confident both were exposed to a common source of infection, such as waste at a live poultry market in China, rather than one person infecting the other.

The woman in her 50s had been travelling with her partner, said Dr. Reka Gustafson of Vancouver Coastal Health. He became ill first, and a day or two later the woman became sick enough to seek care from a family doctor, she said.

The couple from B.C.'s Lower Mainland were given the antiviral Tamiflu.

Swabs were taken and the results were confirmed by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg on the weekend.

Anyone who has travelled to areas of China with H7N9 and gets sick should consult a doctor.

Outside of mainland China, the federal health agency said, travel-related cases have been confirmed in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, after exposure to poultry traced to eastern provinces in China.

"There is no indication that international spread has occurred, as contacts of the travellers did not develop illness," the agency said.

Travellers to China should avoid live bird markets and make sure eggs and poultry are cooked properly, health officials recommended.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/h7n9-bird ... -1.2800692

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:28 pm 
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First human bird flu case in North America after woman flies from Hong Kong to Vancouver
North America's first case of avian flu involves patient who travelled in mainland China, then flew out of HK on January 12 Air Canada Flight
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 January, 2015, 9:44am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 January, 2015, 9:57am
Ian Young in Vancouver
ian.young@scmp.com

North America’s first case of bird flu in humans has been identified in a Vancouver-area woman who returned to the city on a flight from Hong Kong this month.

Canadian health authorities said the patient, who tested positive to the H7N9 strain of avian flu on Monday morning, is not gravely ill. Because the risk of transmission is low, the woman is being allowed to recover at home, authorities said.

“The individual did not require hospitalisation and is currently recovering from their illness, in self-isolation,” said a statement issued Monday by the health ministers of Canada and British Columbia.

“All close contacts of the individual have been identified and their health is being monitored by provincial public health authorities. The Canadian healthcare system has strong procedures and controls in place to respond to and control the spread of infectious diseases and protect healthcare workers.”

The patient arrived in Vancouver on Air Canada Flight 8 on January 12. Canada’s Public Health Agency stressed that the patient had “recently returned to Canada from China”, but Flight 8 departs from Hong Kong.

“Though the individual was not symptomatic [during the flight], and H7N9 does not transmit easily from person-to-person, the Agency is committed to ensuring Canadians have all the information they need, as a result, we are sharing the flight number,” the agency said.

It said the woman was a resident of British Columbia and that she only became sick after arriving back home. “The risk to Canadians of getting sick with H7N9 is very low as evidence suggests that it does not transmit easily from person-to-person,” the statement said. The H7N9 strain has not been detected in Canadian poultry.

A 68-year-old woman tested positive for H7N9 in Hong Kong last month, and the discovery of the virus in poultry imported from the mainland resulted in a cull and the closure of the Cheung Sha Wan market. Live poultry sales were temporarily halted but resumed on January 11.

“I would like to reassure British Columbians that while we have identified the first case of influenza H7N9 here in BC, the risk to the public remains very low,” said BC health minister Terry Lake said. “This strain does not transmit easily from person to person, and I am pleased to report that the patient is recovering. I would like to send my best wishes to [her family], and would also like to thank our dedicated public health officials for their commitment to protecting the health and safety of all British Columbians.”

Dr Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, said the “risk of H7N9 to Canadians is very low as there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.”

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported that the patient and her husband, both aged in their 50s, had travelled together and both were now sick at home. Tests have not yet confirmed the man’s suspected H7N9 infection.

The newspaper quoted Bonnie Henry, BC’s deputy provincial health officer, as saying the couple “did some touring of areas and villages in China where poultry are seen throughout the village, but there was not a particularly high-risk exposure that we were able to identify.”

Authorities in China and the World Health Organisation had been notified about the BC case, the Canadian Public Health Agency said.

H7N9 emerged in China in 2013, and last year infected more than 450 people there, killing 175, the World Health Organisation said.

Canada’s large and well-travelled mainland Chinese and Hong Kong immigrant populations have previously had public health implications for the country, most significantly during the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars). A major outbreak of the disease occurred in Toronto, triggered by a patient who was infected in Hong Kong’s Metropole Hotel and then flew to Canada.

Forty-four people died and more than 400 were infected in Toronto. Vancouver narrowly avoided a major outbreak when another person infected at the Metropole was swiftly diagnosed and isolated upon arrival in British Columbia. A nurse at the hospital where the man was quarantined was the only case of secondary transmission in Vancouver; three other probable Sars cases in Vancouver were contracted outside Canada.

http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/ ... -hong-kong

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