I checked this when I saw it at one of the bird flu fora (not a forum which I recommend to others to read). The link provided by the unmoderated forum in question at 4:21 AM turned out to be to a splog which referred back to the forum in question. This Reuters report just came in (29 Nov 2006 21:37:41 GMT)

This is just a reminder to check your sources, double-check with another, independent valid source. Arm yourself with information (how could someone so far removed from active human H5N1 cases have been infected? why weren’t there any specific references to check out at the original Internet site? Influenza is similar to other viral infections so what differential diagnosis techniques were used? etc.)

“TORONTO, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Internet speculation over a potential human case of bird flu in the Canadian province of Quebec is untrue, a health official said on Wednesday.

“It’s not true,” Quebec Health Ministry spokeswoman Helene Gingras told Reuters. “We have no signs (of) that.”

Earlier, at least one Web site dedicated to avian flu posted a report of a 9-year-old boy hospitalized in the town of Rimouski, Quebec.

The Internet discussion forum, which cited no specific sources and was headlined “Suspect H5N1 Patient in Rimouski Quebec Canada?” stated the boy had pneumonia and was in isolation.

H5N1 is a strain of bird flu that is potentially deadly to humans. Experts fear it could trigger a pandemic if it evolves to become easily transmissible between people.

Rimouski is a town of about 42,000, roughly 310 km (193 miles) north of Quebec City.

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