Outbreaks

Canada says husband of woman diagnosed with avian flu also infected

In this Saturday, April 6, 2013 photo, a worker takes excrement samples from a chicken at a closed poultry market in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu province. Shanghai has reported two more cases of human infection of a new strain of bird flu, raising the number of cases in eastern China to 18. Six of the people who contracted the virus have died. Health officials believe people are contracting the H7N9 virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there's no evidence the virus is spreading easily between people. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

In this Saturday, April 6, 2013 photo, a worker takes excrement samples from a chicken at a closed poultry market in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu province. Shanghai has reported two more cases of human infection of a new strain of bird flu, raising the number of cases in eastern China to 18. Six of the people who contracted the virus have died. Health officials believe people are contracting the H7N9 virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there's no evidence the virus is spreading easily between people. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT  (AP)

The husband of a woman who tested positive for the H7N9 avian flu virus earlier this week was also infected, likely from a common source during their visit to China, Canadian federal and provincial governments confirmed on Friday.

The couple, residents of British Columbia, exhibited symptoms one day apart and likely did not infect each other, Canada's chief public health officer and British Columbia's deputy provincial health officer said in a joint statement.

Evidence suggests the virus does not transmit easily between humans, with most known cases involving exposure to live poultry, the health agencies said.

Their cases are the first documented cases of H7N9 infection in North America. The H7N9 virus has not been detected in birds in Canada.

The virus first infected three people in China in March 2013. In 2014, it infected 453 people, killing 175 of them, according to the World Health Organization.