The man, who raised fighting cocks, fell ill last month and died on Wednesday, the official told reporters on Thursday. 

The virus, which is thought to be caught from close contact with sick birds, spread through much of Asia this year and has killed 20 people in Vietnam.

Two Malaysians have been isolated in hospital this week with symptoms of bird flu after the illness emerged in Malaysia last month. Victims are believed to have caught the virulent virus through close contact with sick poultry or their droppings. 

Thailand was the world's fourth-largest chicken exporter until the disease forced the slaughter of 60 million birds and halted exports to key buyers Japan and Europe. 

The bird flu epidemic is partly to blame for a slowing Thai economy this year, with the agricultural sector shrinking further in the second quarter.