Iraq reports first swine flu death

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The Independent Online

Iraq's health ministry has confirmed the country's first death from swine flu, as the deadly virus continues its spread across the region.

Iraqi health ministry spokesman, Dr. Ihsan Jaafar, said today a 21-year-old woman died from swine flu in the southern holy city of Najaf. He says she died Wednesday.

Jaafar says the woman was visiting a Shiite shrine in the holy city before she was diagnosed and quarantined.

He says there have been 67 cases of swine flu confirmed in Iraq, including 39 cases among American troops.

The US military did not immediately respond to the claim. But the US has previously said it would report any cases of the virus to the Iraqi government under an agreement between the two countries.