China is defending its record of reporting human cases of bird flu following a newspaper report that local health officials may be hiding suspected cases.
China's health ministry said Saturday that every human case of bird flu in China has been made public once confirmed.
On Thursday, the Asian edition of The Wall Street Journal reported that local health officials in China had failed to report possible human cases of bird flu to the central government.
China announced its first human bird flu case last November. The country has reported 18 cases, including 12 deaths.
China was widely accused of suppressing information about the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak. The outbreak infected more than eight-thousand people and killed nearly 800, mostly in China, between late 2002 and mid-2003.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters