A BC resident has tested positive for the H7N9 avian influenza strain. The woman recently returned to Canada from China. This is the first documented case of H7N9 infection in a human in North America.
The risk to Canadians of getting sick with H7N9 is very low. The illness does not spread easily from person-to-person.
The patient did not require hospitalization and is currently recovering from the flu at home. Family and friends of the patient have been contacted already and their health is being monitored.
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.
H7N9 influenza isn’t the same as seasonal flu that circulates every winter. 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. This flu strain is not linked to the H5 avian flu in chickens.
- H7N9 is a type of avian influenza virus that has been seen in people in China since 2013. Almost all of the cases reported contact with poultry, usually in live poultry markets.
- The Agency’s Travel Health Notices on www.travel.gc.ca provide information on how to protect yourself from avian influenza while abroad.
- There is no risk of catching the virus by eating well-cooked poultry. Canada does not import raw poultry or raw poultry products from China.
You can help protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu in general by: