Canadian health officials in mid-January reported the first confirmed human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus in North America.
The patient’s symptoms began in late December 2013 during return travel from Beijing, China, to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. As symptoms worsened, the patient was hospitalized a few days later but died on January 3.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Alert Network, no cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) had been reported in the United States as of mid-January. The virus rarely, and never sustainably, spreads from person to person, so the risk of subsequent related cases is low.
First Human Influenza A(H5N1) Case Reported in North America. JAMA. 2014;311(7):668. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.571