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WHO Confirms Five H5N1 Deaths in Azerbaijan


The World Health Organization has confirmed that five people in Azerbaijan have died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu since late February.

The agency says four of those who died lived together or near each other in southeastern Azerbaijan. It says the source of their infection is being investigated.

The newly confirmed cases bring to 103 the number of people to die of bird flu since 2003.

In Egypt, officials say they may have found a third human case of bird flu. One person there has died of the virus, while another was treated.

Pakistan also announced Tuesday the presence of the deadly strain of bird flu in poultry from the northwest of the country. And in Malaysia, the national news agency Bernama reported two new outbreaks of the H5N1 strain in poultry.

Humans who have caught bird flu were in contact with diseased birds. Officials fear the virus could mutate and then be transmitted from human to human, creating a global pandemic.

The Bush administration warned Monday that the United States is likely to see its first case in wild birds this year.

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