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H5N1 victim was registered nurse

The first person to die of avian flu in North America was a registered nurse in a central Alberta hospital.

The woman's family says she grew up in China and moved to Alberta on her own to study nursing.

The family has released a statement that says the woman, whose name is not being released, worked at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

The World Health Organization has said she was in her late 20s.

The family says she had been married for 1 1/2 years, had saved for a vacation to her homeland, and made the trip with her mother in December.

Relatives say they are devastated by her death, but are co-operating with health authorities while requesting media respect their privacy.

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