VANCOUVER — A B.C. woman has been diagnosed with North America’s first case of H7N9, also known as the potentially lethal Avian Influenza.
Health Minister Ambrose said that the case was confirmed Jan. 12 in British Columbia.
"I am pleased to report that the individual is now recovering from the illness and did not require hospitalization," Ambrose said. "The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that the risk to Canadians is very low, as there is no evidence to suggest that H7N9 transmits easily from person to person."
The woman contacted the virus in China and showed symptoms after returning to Canada.
The infected person was on Air Canada Flight 8, according to the government.
Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.’s health officer, said they became aware of the situation Friday.
The woman and her male partner went on a trip to China and were exposed to chickens while travelling through small villages.
After visiting a doctor when she felt the influenza-like symptoms, a swab of her mouth was taken and tests confirmed it was the H7N9 strain.
She is now at home and recovering well and her male travelling partner is under observation but has not shown any symptoms.
The male partner also exhibited flu-like symptoms but was not tested. Both are recovering and have voluntarily isolated themselves at home, Kendall said.
"It’s not a risk to the public," he said.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said the risk to humans is very low, as it does not transmit between people and is mostly passed through contact with certain birds.
"It is not the same as seasonal flu and is not found in birds in Canada," Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Gregory Taylor said. "To best protect yourself make sure that all poultry is properly cooked, including eggs."
There have been more than 500 cases of the Avian flu in China since 2013.