China has reported its first fatality from bird flu in 18 months.
According to the AFP news agency, doctors say a bus driver in the southern town of Shenzhen, who tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, died in hospital on December 31.
Shenzhen borders Hong Kong, which recently ordered a suspension of live poultry imports from the mainland after three birds tested positive for the virus. The BBC has reported that the territory's authorities also culled 17,000 chickens.
The H5N1 virus is fatal in humans in about 60 percent of cases but does not pass easily from human to human.
The World Health Organization says it has never identified a "sustained human-to-human spread" of the virus since it re-emerged in 2003.
compiled from agency reports