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Regular flu more fatal than swine flu in Iran

TEHRAN, Sep 4 (Mehr News Agency) - Seasonal flu death rate is higher than swine flu's, the director of the Iranian Society of Internists warned in Tehran on Saturday.

Compared with H1N1 flu, regular influenza kills more Iranians, but there is no official figures showing the exact death rate from regular flu across the country, Iraj Khosrow-Nia told the Mehr News Agency.

Khosrow-Nia called the old and those who have had chronic diseases the most victims of the regular seasonal flu.

Great numbers of people die of regular flu per annum in the country during the fall and winter, but the rate has not been registered so far, Khosrow-Nia explained.

Of course, swine flu outbreak in Iran is nothing to sneeze at. As of June 22, when it burst onto the scene in the Islamic Republic, a total of 285 cases of the disease have been confirmed around the country.

One person has also died from the H1N1 virus since then

But swine flu cases in Iran are mild, Khosrow-Nia said, we should be cautious but not panicky.

The severity doesn't seem to be much different than what it is in the regular seasonal flu, Khosrow-Nia noted.

Mohammad-Mahi Guya, an official at the Infectious Diseases Department of the Health Ministry, also named regular seasonal influenza more dangerous than the H1N1-A flu.

Guya recommended the high-risk groups (the old and those with chronic disease) to get vaccinated against the flu before the flu season (fall) sets in.

Free seasonal flu shots available for high-risk groups: ex-minister

The former health minister Kamran Baqeri-Lankarani also today spoke of the availability of the free seasonal flu shot in pharmacies across the country.

Speaking at his final meeting with ministry's deputies, Lankarani said, "The free flu shots are available for high-risk groups across the country."

High risk groups include senior citizens (65 and over), infants under 5, and pregnant women, anyone with a weak immune system or a chronic illness, and anyone with asthma or heart disease.

The meeting was also attended by the new Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi who was approved by the Parliament on Thursday to become the first Iranian minister since the history of the Islamic Revolution.

Swine flu emerged in Mexico in April and quickly spread around the globe.

According to the latest WHO figures issued on Friday, more than 2,837 people around the world have died from the virus over the past four months.

... Payvand News - 09/05/09 ... --

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