UN confirms more cases of bird flu in Egypt

Cairo - A total of 12 people have now contracted the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in Egypt and four of them have died of the disease, the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.

The infections brought the worldwide toll to 204 cases, 113 of them fatal, the UN agency said on its website.

The Egyptian health ministry had submitted samples to the UN agency for confirmation in WHO-approved laboratories.

"All cases confirmed by the ministry of health are now listed in the WHO cumulative table of laboratory-confirmed cases," the agency said.

Only Indonesia now has more confirmed cases of bird flu in humans than Egypt. The north African country is equal second with Turkey with 12 confirmed cases.

Infections in humans or birds have now been reported in 19 of Egypt's 26 provinces.

The most populous country in the Arab world, Egypt lies at the crossroads between Asia and Africa on a major route for migratory birds.

The disease was first detected in birds in Egypt in February. The first human case was reported on March 18. - Sapa-AFP

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