On March 31, 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that individuals in the People's Republic of China were infected by a new type of avian influenza virus identified as A(H7N9). All cases developed severe pneumonia and breathing difficulties.
According to the WHO, the cases of A(H7N9) are of concern because these are the first reported cases of this avian influenza virus in humans.
There have been no reports of human illness in Canada associated with the H7N9 flu virus currently causing illness in China.
The risk posed to humans by avian influenza in birds is generally very low. Avian influenza does not transmit easily from birds to infect humans.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will continue to monitor international reports of the human cases of A(H7N9) avian influenza through its partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Public Health Ontario to ensure appropriate information is made available and action taken as necessary.
For information see the World Health Organization's Disease Outbreak News or the Public Health Agency of Canada's Public Health Notice.
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