TIKRIT, Iraq, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Two people have died of contagious swine flu, also known as influenza A/H1N1, in Iraq's central province of Salahudin, a medical source said on Thursday.
"We have many cases suspected to be infected with swine flu in the province, especially in the town of Balad, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, two of them have died," Dr. Khalid Burhan, deputy head of health department of Salahudin province, told Xinhua.
"We have sent samples taken from the suspected cases to the Central laboratory of Public Health in Baghdad, and the cases were proved swine flu," Burhan said.
Burhan did not say how many cases are registered in the province, but he described the situation as "dangerous if the government would not take necessary precautions."
H1N1 influenza is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease with symptoms generally including upper respiratory problems, but the airborne illness can cause severe pneumonia and even death.