H5N1 Bird Flu Kills First North American Victim

Deceased may have contracted the disease in China before boarding flight to Vancouver

  • Share
  • Read Later

A Canadian who fell ill while traveling home from China has become the first North American to die of the H5N1 avian flu virus, officials said Wednesday.

The person, who authorities declined to identify, became sick last month after flying from Beijing to Vancouver and died on Jan. 3. Tests confirmed the cause of death Tuesday night, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Officials are contacting other passengers aboard the deceased person’s Beijing-Vancouver flight, but they said the risk of person-to-person transmission is low. Humans typically contract avian flu directly from sick birds.

The H5N1 strain of avian flu has been in and out of the news in the U.S. and Canada since fears over it first emerged a decade ago. It has claimed nearly 400 lives around the world, according to the World Health Organization statistics.

Human infection by other strains of avian flu have more recently been reported in China and Taiwan.

[Wall Street Journal]

44 comments
BrookeRemillard
BrookeRemillard

My family just got over the H5N1 flu.  We had it for about 3 weeks.  It was horrible!  There are 7 members of the family and we all had it.  We see a naturopathic doc and they ran a bio energetic test on us and that is the flu that popped up.  Human transmission is possible!

TimeTraveler2037
TimeTraveler2037

the CIA has been experimenting on un-expecting Americans since the 1950's to  create new biological weapons and this is one of them. From LSD, to newly developed viruses to test the sequence and timing  from spreading from one species to another.

hilaritybribo
hilaritybribo

Another side effect of globalization is diseases and parasites are showing up in America like crazy. 

AndrewKlein
AndrewKlein

Yeah... must be a slow news day. Plenty of other illnesses kill far more people each year. Everyone hears the word "flu" and start to freak out. It's worse than yuppies freaking out in the northeast before a snow storm to the "bread and milk" skit.


DebbieDacute
DebbieDacute

Is there anyway of making a vaccine before this mutates?  Serious question. 

LyndaElaine
LyndaElaine

Just had one confirmed H1N1 in Oregon just yesterday and another 7 deaths in Portland that are suspected H1N1 related.. Hundreds of people in the Portland area are hospitalized and eastern Washington is having an outbreak. 

CascadeWA
CascadeWA

We really need to put a tight leash on who and what comes from China.


It's always something with them. Do you have any idea how many antibiotics they take? For anything! This is dangerous for the world. Once everything becomes immune to antibiotics, we would have some serious problems to deal with. All it would take is an individual from China to come with a highly immune strain of a sickness and it would spread like wild fire.

meh74
meh74

It Really bother's me "North American" This Happened in Canada period. We are not the 51st state

RoyKeiningham
RoyKeiningham

So what is the difference between H5N1 and H1N1.  We've had several deaths in our stated from the latter.

Geoz
Geoz

It is only a matter of time before that virus learns to fly.

KaiserSouze
KaiserSouze

Not "tooting" my own horn.. but when I read "First North American" I IMMEDIATELY knew it would be in Vancouver - I love that city and Live in NY area, but Vancouver has a very strong Asian (Chinese) population, and somehow it makes total sense.


jerkface1001
jerkface1001

Quick!  Run!!  Head for the Hills!!!!   One (probably elderly) person died from bird flu in North America!!   Time to drop off the grid!

corey.davidson2001
corey.davidson2001

The flu kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people per year in the United States according to the CDC. Quite the range, but the point is to not freak out and live in fear. There isn't anything you can do about this H5N1 and starting a panic isn't going to help.

DT123
DT123

$1 says they're over 70.

OMBRE2014
OMBRE2014

I seriously doubt a North American would go to China of all places and play with birds!  This was transmitted by human to human contact.... 

AnthonyLionetti
AnthonyLionetti

The concern here is that this is being reported because of the fatality, not the infection which occurred more than a month ago. The concern with H5N1 is if it can achieve human to human transmission. No mention is made about how this unfortunate individual contracted the disease. If this particular infection has human to human transmission potential, this should have been reported weeks ago.  Viral transmission occurs in the early pre symptomatic period of infection. This is no regular "flu". It is a natural born killer.  What is concerning about this report is that there is no evidence presented that the health authorities had undertaken an expedited effort to identify it, evaluate the potential for human to human transmission, and if so to emergently contain the contagion.   We need to have reporting about the health authority response to this case by the news media. If it was deficient, this needs to be corrected asap.

HarryCline
HarryCline

I sure hope the U.S. side are checking these flights coming in from that rat-trap over there.  If anyone ever wonders how polluted China really is, it make Mexico city look clean.


The next big thing is the 'bug' can live on almost anything, including the crap we buy at Walmart.  Wash your hands good and keep your hands away from your face.

MrZaphod
MrZaphod

"Most avian influenza viruses have been isolated from wild waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans) and shorebirds (wading birds), gulls, and terns." - USGS National Wildlife Health Center


Before you go running off thinking that virtually every wild bird on the planet is getting ready to infect you look at where H5N1 comes from primarily today. Also, look at the population distribution in Asia and how humans and wildlife are pushing on each other's borders. However, this strain should give us humans pause and re-think how we integrate with everything here on terra firma.

MaryRiversong
MaryRiversong

The presence of this deadly virus is exactly why we must have the Affordable Access Healthcare Plan. Can you spell epidemic?

u2canbfmj
u2canbfmj

Ahhh, doesn't the normal flu kill thousands a year?  what am I missing

awestley
awestley

I look forward to the day that one person dying is news.

MickeyCashen
MickeyCashen

Babu - Aloe Vera does have wonderful medicinal properties, but nowhere near the extent you claim.  There's not ONE example of Aloe Vera curing Type II Diabetes.  People following your recommendations are more likely to die than be cured.

BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

ALOE VERA NOURISHMENT, HEALING, AND PREVENTION OF DISEASE: Scientific studies show that the Aloe vera  plant is loaded with a myriad of nutrients (i.e. a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids) which all together help prevent all sorts of disease and to heal disease (i.e. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, etc.). Drinking 8 oz of aloe vera juice (a whole food) daily will provide comprehensive nutrition for your body. If you have a health condition, take 8 to 12 ounces of aloe vera juice daily for at least six months and see if your condition doesn't improve or, at least, doesn't get worse. Aloe vera isn't just for topical use on skin, anymore!
 
Read my popular Internet article, CHEMOTHERAPY SUCCESS WITH ALOE VERA! This is a must read article for all those diagnosed with cancer or who have a loved one who is. Just google the title to access the article. There are properties in aloe vera that greatly strengthen the immune system and help protect the immune system and healthy cells from being destroyed by chemo and radiation. The result is that (when taking aloe vera juice duing chemo/radiation) the cancer cells are destroyed while the immune system and more of the healthy cells survive. The properties in aloe vera also help chemo/radiation patients suffer a lot less side effects from the chemo/radiation treatments. When undergoing chemo/radiation, make sure to take 8 oz. of aloe vera juice daily! 

As a daily routine for good health, adults should take 8 oz. of aloe vera juice daily, and children and teenagers should take 4 oz. daily. And, yes, you can give your pets this too. Pour a couple of tablespoons daily in their water dish.

Babu G. Ranganathan
(B.A. Bible/Biology)

THE BEST WEAPON AGAINST GERMS OF ALL KINDS is colloidal silver. Germs, including viruses of all types, cannot develop resistance to colloidal silver.

Please read my Internet article, PROTECT YOUR BODY WITH COLLOIDAL SILVER. Just google the title to access the article.

Babu G. Ranganathan
B.A. Bible/Biology

CascadeWA
CascadeWA

@meh74 Chill out.


Canada is also North America.


Someone said it includes Mexico...uh no. Mexico is Central America.

JeremyLiggett
JeremyLiggett

@meh74 It also includes Mexico. I think it was more of a head's up everyone in N.A., not a "CANADA IS PART OF THE US LOLOL ALL UR NEWS R BELONG TO US" type situation. 

frodonsamwise
frodonsamwise

@RoyKeiningham You're less likely to see fatalities from H5N1 (chicken flu) than H1N1 (swine flu). Chicken flu has a higher fatality rate, in terms of how many people who catch it die from it, but it's a lot less common, and not as easily passed along as swine flu. They're both Influenza A though, so get a flu shot, go to your doctor if you feel you've caught something instead of insisting you'll be fine, yada yada, and you'll be fine.

phindm
phindm

@RoyKeiningham There are a number of differences between H5N1 and H1N1. The key difference is that H5N1 has not yet evolved a mechanism for easy transmission between humans as H1N1 does. This is the fear of world public health. Once this occurs this could be a devastating pandemic. 

nevada123
nevada123

@KaiserSouzeShe's from Alberta, Edmonton I believe. Stereotype much? Not everyone who goes to China is Chinese.

phindm
phindm

@corey.davidson2001Except we may be looking at hundred's of millions dead and not thousands if this spreads easily spread from human to human.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MaryRiversong Please moron, just stay away from filthy china, and f-ing pigeons, you will be ok and the ACA will not help you, with the virus, if your dead do not worry about the bill from the hospital. 

steketinc
steketinc

@MickeyCashen Nature can cure any known disease we humans can contract, aside from man made crap, no virus can survive in an alkaline environment, but the doctors won't prescribe anything the pharma's don't tell them to.

Geoz
Geoz

@BabuG.Ranganathan Bible Biology? So... a BA, not a BS... and Bible Biology?  I'm a little skeptical on your points and your credentials.

mauroski
mauroski

@CascadeWA @meh74 Central America is not a CONTINENT. Central American is part of N America (Including Mexico).

frodonsamwise
frodonsamwise

@CascadeWA @meh74 No, it isn't...Mexico is in North America. Regardless of that fact, it is geologically attached, so it is relevant all the same.

mac1546
mac1546

No need for name-calling friend. Can you explain your claim that access to health care won't help prevent an epidemic or is it just bloviation from the evidence-free zone?

LyndaElaine
LyndaElaine

@frodonsamwise Education is sorely lacking here the good ole US. And unfortunately most of these same uneducated masses think we are the center of the universe. Sad.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mac1546 Ah you are one of those show me the evidence types. No evidence needed mac, this is not a court room, it is an opinion and comment site. Funny thing about opinions, everyone has one, they are like ass holes everyone has one of those too, only some are better then others,friend.