Via CIDRAP, Robert Roos has a good account of a complex story: Exposure source in Canadian H5N1 case a mystery. Excerpt:
With the new case, the WHO's tally of confirmed H5N1 cases since 2003 stands at 649, with 385 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of 59%. Most patients had exposure to poultry, but human-to-human transmission is regarded as probable in a few cases that involved prolonged close contact between family members.
As reported previously, the Canadian patient's presentation was somewhat unusual, though not unprecedented, in that there were no respiratory symptoms, officials said. James Talbot, MD, PhD, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said the patient's diagnosis at the time of death was meningoencephalitis, or inflammation of the brain and the lining around it, according to a report in the Edmonton Journal.
"That is one of the ways H5N1 patients die," Talbot said.