WHO: Swine Flu Cases Worldwide Near 20,000

The World Health Organization says the number of swine flu cases worldwide has reached 19,273 after the United States reported over 1,000 new infections.

WHO says the virus has been confirmed in 66 countries, with Egypt and Nicaragua the latest to report one case each. The virus is responsible for 117 deaths, mostly in Mexico.

The global body tally lags behind national governments as it waits for official notification.

It says Australia's case load increased by 204 to 501 by Wednesday, and Canada had 194 new cases. In Britain and Panama, cases jumped by about half, to 339 and 155 respectively.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the swine flu virus has now reached all 50 states.