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News number: 8805281050

15:10 | 2009-08-19

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Swine Flu Pandemic Slows Down in Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Wednesday that swine flu pandemic has slowed down in Iran after the country stopped pilgrimage trips to Saudi Arabia.



"About 60% of the people infected with swine flu type A were the people who had returned from Hajj pilgrimage and after cancelling the trips the speed of the disease's pandemic has slowed down," Deputy Director of the Health Ministry's Department for Controlling Contagious Diseases Mahmoud Nabavi told FNA.

Iran decided to cease flights to Saudi Arabia from August 11 due to a swine flu pandemic in the Arab country.

Nabavi reiterated that according to the latest statistical figures, 250 Iranians have been infected with swine flu thus far, but meantime, underlined the disease has taken no toll in the country.

Yet, he asked Iranians to keep more vigilant during the two remaining seasons, warning that people should expect a rapid and vast pandemic of swine flue in the cold season.

The health ministry has urged citizens to hold off on their traditionally warm greetings, foregoing hugs and kisses to tourists returning from other countries to contain the spread of infection.

According to Iranian health officials, the confirmed cases of swine flue infection include individuals returning from the hajj pilgrimage and trips to Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Syria, Iraq and the US.

Swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease which is a mixture of bird, pig and human genes. The virus can spread to people who have contact with infected pigs. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes around someone else. People can become infected by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.

People can't get swine flu from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly cooked pork is safe. Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 160°F kills viruses and bacteria.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to the common flu: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Swine flu also can cause pneumonia, which can make it hard to breathe.