Bird Flu Claims First Life in North America
The first known fatality from the H5N1 avian flu virus has struck North America. Canadian officials have announced the death of an Alberta resident who had recently visited Beijing. People are being urged to remain calm, with Health Minister Rona Ambrose calling it an “isolated case.” She said the risk to others is low, and the World Health Organization says the virus is difficult to transmit from person to person. But once caught, H5N1, which affects the lower respiratory tract and often causes severe pneumonia, is deadly 60 percent of the time.