An Indonesian woman suspected of being infected with bird flu has died in the West Java city of Bandung, hospital sources there said today.

Samples from the 30-year-old woman have been sent for testing in Jakarta, said a staff member at Bandung's Hasan Sadikin general hospital who only identified himself as Herdi.

Two tests must come back positive for the H5N1 virus before a victim is confirmed as part of the official bird flu death toll in Indonesia, which is the highest in the world at 85.

The woman, who died yesterday, was showing symptoms of bird flu infection, such as fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and low red blood count.

Herdi declined to give further details, but the Koran Tempo said that the victim fell sick a few day after one of her pet birds died. Transmission usually occurs directly from birds to humans.

The kind of bird involved has not been identified.

If confirmed to be infected with the H5N1 strain of the virus, the woman would be the 86th human fatality in the country. Twenty-one other people have been infected by the deadly H5N1 virus strain that causes bird flu, but have so far survived.

H5N1 is endemic in birds across nearly all of Indonesia.

Scientists worry that the virus will eventually mutate into a form that is much more easily transmissible between humans, triggering a disastrous global pandemic.