Health officials in China confirmed Tuesday that a deadly strain of the bird flu virus has killed a 19-year-old woman, the country's first reported death from the disease in nearly a year.

Officials say the woman died Monday at a hospital in the Chinese capital after falling ill late last month. Officials say she had the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

They also say the woman had contact with poultry before the symptoms appeared.  A Tuesday statement from the World Health Organization says the case does not appear to signal a new public health threat.

The WHO says the case does not appear to be a human-to-human transmission of the disease because the woman appeared to have been infected during the slaughtering and preparation of poultry.

China's official Xinhua news agency says the woman bought nine ducks at a market in Beijing's neighboring province of Hebei.

The case is the first in China since a 44-year-old woman died last February in southern Guangdong province.

Also Tuesday, health officials in Vietnam say an eight-year-old girl in the northern part of the country has tested positive for bird flu.

Officials say the girl was admitted to a hospital December 27 with a high fever and other symptoms after eating a sick goose raised by the family.

Since 2003, the World Health Organization says bird flu has killed 247 people worldwide, including 20 in China and 52 in Vietnam.


Some information for this report was provided by AP.