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H5N1: Alarming pandemic gets closer with Bird Flu in North America

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The H5N1, or Bird flu or Avian Flu, has hit North America with its first case in Canada. Web Pro News reported Jan. 9 that it has killed a resident of Alberta after returning home from Beijing.

Canada’s Health Minister, Rona Ambrose, said the infected individual had recently traveled to Beijing.

“As Canada’s Health Minister I want to reassure the public this is an isolated case,” said Canada's Health Minister, Rona Ambrose. “The risk of H5N1 to Canadians is very low. There is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission. It is also important for Canadians to know that this case is not part of the seasonal flu which circulates in Canada every year.”

This is the first human case from a traveler and not a bird handler, the report added. Until now, the H5N1 viruses has not been discovered in humans or animals in the U.S. or Canada.

The latest H5N1 diagnosis has the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) somewhat worried. "According to WHO most avian flu viruses do not cause disease in humans. However, some like H5N1 are zoonotic, which means they can infect humans and cause disease, even death," the report said.

Records with the CDC show that of nearly 650 humans have been tested for H5N1 since 2003. They have either been in direct contact or close to poultry. Experts believe the smart virus will jump from human to human eventually if it has learned to jump from bird to human.

Despite the alarming new, this is not a pandemic yet. The U.S. agency is not urging the public take any special precautions or actions because of the H5N1 case in Canada.

The only way the H5N1 virus can be helped is if factory farms improve standards and stop shoving animals so close together. They use antibiotics so they can get animals processed as meat then the viruses get stronger as they resist the medication.



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