Flu kills spectator at international event

A spectator from New Zealand who died of swine flu at a global trades competition was probably infected in his homeland, Alberta’s chief medical health officer says.

CALGARY — A spectator from New Zealand who died of swine flu at a global trades competition was probably infected in his homeland, Alberta’s chief medical health officer says.

The man was the father of a New Zealand competitor at the World Skills Competition, which has drawn more than 900 competitors to Calgary from around the world.

“Based on the incubation period of around two to four days, he would have acquired this shortly before leaving,” Dr. Andre Corriveau said.

It appears to be an isolated case and the man’s family has not shown any flu symptoms, he added.

“They were asked to stay in their hotel room, to watch for symptoms. But we don’t quarantine people. They’re not forbidden to leave,” he said.

“The important thing is they take precautions and advise us if they develop symptoms.”

There is a possibility the man caught the flu on the plane ride over from New Zealand, said Corriveau, but noted it’s impossible to tell for sure.

Corriveau said there’s no reason for anyone to leave the competition early.

“We’re still not recommending that people should cancel,” he said. “For most people who participated, I hope they don’t have any concerns about continuing their participation.”

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