Slide Show: Human Infection with H5N1 Virus
On Jan. 8, 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported the first confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus identified in North America. The patient exhibited symptoms while returning from travel to Beijing, China, on Dec. 27, 2013. The patient was hospitalized on Jan. 1, 2014, and subsequently died on Jan. 3, 2014. Investigations by Canadian public health officials are ongoing. The CDC says that this case is a reminder that novel influenza A viruses, including avian influenza A (H5N1) virus, can infect and cause severe respiratory illness in humans. Since avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have only been rarely, and never sustainably, transmitted from person to person, there is a very low risk of subsequent related cases. To date, no cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses have been reported in the United States.