A Canadian man has been hospitalized in southwestern Ontario with a new variant of the swine flu virus that caused a 2009 pandemic, a public health official announced on Tuesday.

The adult male patient became ill “after close contact with pigs,” Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Arlene King, said in a statement.

He is being treated for the influenza virus, which rarely spreads from animals to humans or from humans to humans, and is being closely monitored at an undisclosed hospital, she said.

No information was provided on the man’s condition. But the risk of another outbreak was downplayed.

King said the case was “not an unexpected occurrence” and noted that there had been “a number of human infections with variant influenza viruses in the United States over the past year.”

In 2009, an H1N1 epidemic erupted in Mexico and spread into a worldwide pandemic that caused at least 17,000 deaths.

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