Two cases of avian flu confirmed in British Columbia

Last week, the IHR National Focal Point of Canada reported to the World Health Organization that two cases of the avian flu A(H7N9) virus had been confirmed over a three-day period, with lab confirmation.

Both flew from Hong Kong to British Columbia after traveling together through China. During their travels, they were both exposed to live poultry, but did not have direct contact with the poultry.

In the initial case, an individual developed symptoms on Jan. 14 and tested positive for influenza A(H7N9) on Jan. 26. The second individual first had symptoms on Jan. 13 and was confirmed positive for the virus on Jan. 29.

Neither individual was hospitalized, and both have since recovered from their symptoms, agreeing to self-isolation in their respective homes. Tracing and monitoring of household contacts and health care contacts are ongoing.

Follow-up of passengers on the flight on which the two patients traveled was not an issue, as the incubation period had expired.

WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of the avian flu avoid poultry farms and contact with animals in live bird markets.

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World Health Organization

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