Nine-Year-Old Girl Dies of Bird Flu in China

China on Wednesday reported its 10th human death from bird flu, a 9-year-old girl in the country's southeast.

The girl died Monday in the southeastern coastal province of Zhejiang, the Ministry of Health said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency. It did not immediately say whether she was confirmed to have the virulent H5N1 flu strain.

The cause of the girl's infection was under investigation, but she visited the home of relatives whose chickens died while she was there, the ministry said earlier.

The H5N1 virus has devastated poultry stocks and killed at least 95 people since 2003, mostly in Asia. Fresh outbreaks have been reported in more than a dozen countries since early February.

Most human infections have been linked to direct contact with sick poultry, but experts have warned that the virus could mutate into a form that could be easily transmitted between people, possibly sparking a global flu pandemic that could kill millions.