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H7N9 avian influenza

H7N9 is a type of avian influenza virus that is now for the first time being identified in humans. This flu has infected several people in the People's Republic of China. Their symptoms included fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most of the cases developed severe pneumonia and breathing difficulties, some resulting in death.

While additional cases in China are likely to be confirmed, there is no evidence to date that shows this disease is being transmitted from person to person. Instead, at this early stage in the investigation, it seems that people are getting sick from close contact with infected birds.

There are no cases of human illness in Canada and this particular strain of H7N9 flu virus has not been detected in birds in Canada, which means the risk to Canadians of catching this virus is low.

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