By Beth Main
Shuai Pengyue, a 21 year old woman, died on Wednesday after contracting the H5N1 bird flu virus. Health authorities in Guiyang, Guizhou province, say she died of multiple organ failure.
The woman was one of two people recently diagnosed with bird flu in Southwest China. The other patient, a 31 year old man, has been critically ill since developing symptoms on Feb 3. This is the first fatal case of bird flu since January last year.
Authorities say there is no evidence the patients were in contact with poultry before contracting the virus.
There are fears from epidemiologists that the virus could mutate into a highly contagious form which could be transmitted between humans.