An employee of Canada’s Food Inspection Agency has caught the bird flu virus after handling dead chickens on a farm in western Canada.

The worker contracted the H7 virus but the symptoms have since cleared up, said health officer Dr Perry Kendall.

“There was an individual who was exposed while working with the dead chickens and developed conjunctivitis and was followed up and tested, and an H7 virus was identified,” Kendall was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. 

The strain of the virus found in recent outbreaks in western Canada is not the same as the strain that has led to the deaths of more than 20 people in Asia. The H7 strain is relatively mild and not believed to be dangerous to humans.

“It causes mostly mild infections in humans,” Kendall said.