Canada confirms first flu death

May 9th, 2009 - 10:36 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, May 9 (IANS) Canada Friday confirmed its first death from the influenza H1N1 flu.
Health officials said the swine flu was the cause of the death of a woman in Alberta province Thursday. Earlier, it was believed that the woman died from other medical reasons April 28.

But provincial health official Andre Corriveau said health officials went back and did tests after a relative contracted a mild form of the swine flu illness on May 5. Those tests came back positive for the virus, according to the Canadian Press.

However, the health official maintained the patient showed only mild symptoms of the flu and it was not known how the virus contributed to her death.

The exact cause will be known only after the final pathology report next week.

Health authorities are keeping a close watch on all the 300 people who attended the woman’s funeral.

Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said: “First and foremost, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the woman who passed away recently.”

Canada has reported 243 cases of the flu so far.

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