According to Chinese officials the victim was 32 and worked as a herdsman. He is said to have lived in an area with a small population which is mainly home to Tibetans.
A further 11 people are also infected but the majority of these are said to be related to the the man that died.
The government has yet to give details on exactly when the man died but the town where the outbreak started has been cordoned off.
Enough food has been provided to keep the 10,000 residents of Ziketan fed whilst the quarantine period remains in place.
The illness targets the lungs and can be transmitted from person to person. People can also become infected from animals. Symptoms of the disease can begin with a fever, headaches and breathing problems.
Anyone suffering from the disease needs to obtain medical treatment as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours.
Chinese officials are also trying to prevent the spread of swine flu which also meant thousands had to be put in quarantine