A regional official of the World Health Organization says an Egyptian woman has died of bird flu.

The official, Hassan Bushra, says the 30-year-old woman was hospitalized in mid-December but was only tested for the deadly form of the flu in the last few days. He says she initially did not tell health officials that she lived in close contact with ducks.

Two members of the woman's family have also been diagnosed with the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza and are being treated in a Cairo hospital.

Eight Egyptians have now died from bird flu since it was first detected in Egyptian poultry in February. In all, 18 Egyptians have been infected.

The woman and her family come from the Nile Delta, north of the capital. The family had been raising ducks.

Many poor Egyptians live in close contact with chickens and ducks that they raise for their own consumption.

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