Canada confirms human case of bird flu
Bird flu may have spread to new region in Canada

March 30, 2004, A new farm has been placed under quarantine in Canada. The latest case is bringing additional woes to the country because it lies outside the “hot zone,” a 5km quarantine zone around the British Columbia farm where the outbreak was first detected, and could indicate the virus has spread.

Last week, Canadian officials announced that more than 200,000 chickens would be culled in a bid to stop the spread of the disease. This week they wait to see if another case has indeed emerged and then worry about how to stop the spread.

March 29, 2004, Canada is reporting the first North American case of a human infected with the bird flu due to the recent outbreaks of the virus. An employee of Canada’s Food Inspection Agency has caught the bird flu virus after handling dead chickens on a farm in western Canada. The worker contracted the H7 virus but the symptoms have since cleared up, said health officer Dr Perry Kendall.

Canadian officials again stressed that this is not the same strain of the virus as the one that has led to the deaths of more than 20 people in Asia. The H7 strain is relatively mild and not believed to be dangerous to humans.

"It causes mostly mild infections in humans," Kendall said.

"There was an individual who was exposed while working with the dead chickens and developed conjunctivitis and was followed up and tested, and an H7 virus was identified," Kendall was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

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