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More Iranians Die From Swine Flu

The Iranian Health Ministry says that 15 more people have died in the past five days in a swine flu outbreak that has affected some 900 people in Iran.

The ministry said on December 15 that a total of 57 Iranians have died from the disease since mid-November.

Mohammad Mehdi, the head of the ministry's Communicable Diseases Department, said the deaths have mostly occurred in southeastern Iran.

He said 33 people died in Kerman Province and five in Sistan-Baluchistan Province.

"This flu comes from beyond our borders, especially from Sistan-Baluchistan" near Pakistan, Health Minister Hassan Hashemi said on December 14.

A major swine flu outbreak in 2009 sparked a pandemic alert by the World Health Organization.

The disease spread around the world and killed more than 18,500 people over the course of one year.

Based on reporting by AFP and Mehr News Agency