First Canadian case of rare swine flu variant reported in central Alberta

EDMONTON — Canada’s first-ever H1N2 influenza case has been detected in central Alberta.

The virus — a rare swine flu variant with only 27 cases confirmed globally since 2005 — was found in mid-October after a patient developed influenza-like symptoms, Alberta said Wednesday.

The patient quickly recovered after they were tested and there’s no evidence there was spread, the province said.

“There is no increased risk to Albertans at this time,” Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Chief Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Keith Lehman said in a joint statement.

“Health officials, in conjunction with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, have launched a public health investigation to determine the source of the virus and to verify that no spread occurred.”

H1N2 is not a food-related illness, Alberta said, and symptoms include fever, coughing, sneezing, breathing difficulties, eye redness or inflammation and a lack of appetite.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the rare influenza virus is “typically acquired from exposure to infected pigs.”

For more information about the virus, click here.

The rare case is Alberta’s first influenza infection of this flu season.

Alberta Health Services will offer optional influenza testing at COVID-19 testing sites in central Alberta.

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