Dr Li Wenliang was hailed a hero for raising the alarm about the coronavirus in the early days of the outbreak, has died of the infection.
His death was confirmed by the Wuhan hospital where the 34-year-old ophthalmologist worked and was being treated, following conflicting reports about his condition on state media.
Dr Li tried to send a message to fellow medics about the outbreak at the end of December. He returned to work and caught the virus from a patient. He had been in hospital for at least three weeks.
He posted his story from his hospital bed last month on social media site Weibo.
"Hello everyone, this is Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital," the post begins.
Dr Li was working at the centre of the outbreak in December when he noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like Sars - the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003. The cases were thought to come from the Huanan Seafood market in Wuhan and the patients were in quarantine in his hospital.
On 30 December he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them about the outbreak and advising they wear protective clothing to avoid infection.
What Dr Li didn't know then was that the disease that had been discovered was an entirely new coronavirus.
In his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in hospital. His parents also fell ill and were taken to hospital.
It was 10 days later - on 20 January - that China declared the outbreak an emergency.
“A hero who released information about Wuhan’s epidemic in the early stage, Dr. Li Wenliang is immortal”