TEHRAN: A swine flu outbreak in Iran has killed 112 people since mid-November and the country’s first medical worker has died of the virus, media said yesterday. “About 1,190 people have been diagnosed with the (H1N1) virus and hospitalized” and “the death toll has reached 112”, state news agency IRNA quoted a health ministry official as saying. “Vaccines and laboratory equipment for diagnosis are available around the clock across the country,” Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, the head of the ministry’s communicable diseases department, said.
The outbreak was “under control” and its “first and more serious wave” of expansion was expected to diminish “in the coming days”, he added. Swine flu deaths have mostly been in southeastern Iran, while many other provinces across the country have reported isolated fatalities. A nurse died Sunday after contracting the flu from patients at a hospital in the northeastern town of Neyshabour, the Mehr news agency reported yesterday.
Authorities earlier this month warned swine flu could spread to Tehran and provinces in the north and west. A major H1N1 outbreak sparked a World Health Organization pandemic alert in June 2009, after the virus emerged from Mexico and the United States. —AFP