Indonesia's Health Ministry says a 12-year-old boy has died of bird-flu.

Officials say the boy, who had tested positive for the H5N1 strain of the virus, died Saturday in a hospital in Tangerang.

If confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it would bring to 88 the number of people who have died from the virus in Indonesia.

More than 200 people worldwide have died from bird flu since the outbreak began in 2003, mostly in Asian nations.

Indonesia has been sharply criticized for being slow to act in its fight to control bird flu, which has spread easily in a nation where many people keep chickens and other birds in their backyards and homes.

Bird flu is usually transmitted directly from infected birds.  However, experts fear the virus could mutate into a form easily transmissible by human-to-human contact.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.