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Iran minister says swine flu pandemic is under control

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s health minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi

Iran’s health minister says the country has managed to check the outbreak of swine flu, with the first phase of the pandemic declared over now.

“The first phase of the [swine] flu disease in the country is under control,” Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said on Thursday during a visit to the southeastern province of Kerman where the pandemic has claimed the lives of 33 people.

Hashemi said, however, that precautionary measures must be taken as weaker waves of the seasonal flu may be back.

The Iranian minister put the toll from the H1N1 virus across Iran at 42 over the past month, including one person in the city of Karaj, 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of the capital, Tehran.

He said around 600 people who contracted the virus in Kerman province have been hospitalized, adding that most of the fatalities were people with history of deficiencies in their immune system.

The latest deadly outbreak of swine flu was in 2009 when as many as half a million people across the world died of the disease. Iran recorded in its last calendar year (started in March 2014) a total of 89 deaths from the virus.

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