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“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. The Government of Alberta will continue working closely with Alberta Health Services, the Public Health Agency of Canada and other partners across Canada.”
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Hinshaw said the positive case was discovered after the person went to a hospital and was tested for COVID-19. It is standard practice for COVID-19 tests from hospitals to also be screened for influenza, she said.
“In fact, this individual was recommended to stay home for 10 days. So essentially (they) followed all the instructions that they would have had this been a COVID case, which thankfully, are also appropriate for preventing onward spread of influenza,” she said.
Since the person tested positive for influenza this early in the season, further tests were done to determine the particular strain.
Hinshaw said officials are still investigating the source of the virus but there is no link to slaughterhouses.
She said the virus is not passed easily from person to person and while there have been cases of transmission from close contact between two people, it has not been found to spread in the wider community.
The case is the first of this swine flu variant to be detected in Canada and only the 27th globally since 2005, Hinshaw and Lehman said.