A Shanghai agency representing a 14-year-old Russian model said on Monday that she died from multiple organ failure caused by pyemia, a type of blood poisoning, rather than overwork during her two-month stay in China.
Vlada Dzuba's death at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital on Friday had nothing to do with exhaustion or overwork, as suggested by some reports, according to Shanghai Esee Model Management, one of China's largest modeling agencies.
"We feel deeply grieved that we lost an angel. But her death was caused by bacterial infection, and it was a very rare disease," said Zheng Yi, president of the agency, which has around 30 foreign models, of whom Dzuba was the youngest.
A medical report provided by the hospital said Dzuba had contracted pyemia, which had damaged multiple organs and resulted in liver dysfunction and kidney problems.
Zhai Xiaowen, director of hematology at Children's Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, said the disease has nothing to do with overwork.
"It is caused by severe bacterial infection," she said.
Zheng said Dzuba had 16 photo shoots and fashion shows over 21 days during her time in China, which was planned for 60 days.
"She worked an average of six hours during those days. Her workload was similar to other models," he said.
Parisian Adrien Jacques, who has spent much of the last two years in Shanghai as a foreign model, said on average he takes on more than 10 assignments every three months and that the workload is moderate.
The agency said it signed a three-month contract with Dzuba's home company, Smirnoff Models, in St. Petersburg, Russia, for her to work in China. Foreign models typically get three-month work visas.
The agency said that Dzuba traveled to Shanghai's neighboring Yiwu, in Zhejiang province, on Monday last week to prepare for a photo shoot the next day. She began feeling sick and vomiting that night.
She returned to Shanghai on Wednesday and was accompanied to the hospital by two agency staff members.
She was transferred to intensive care on Thursday afternoon and was pronounced dead the next morning.
The agency said it had contacted the Russian consulate and her mother in Russia.
Dzuba's mother is being assisted in getting a passport, Zheng said. "Hopefully she will arrive later this week."