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First fatality in Gaza as swine flu toll rises to 21

Jan. 19, 2013 5:15 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2013 9:47 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian has died of swine flu in the Gaza Strip, among four Palestinian fatalities from the virus in the last 48 hours, the health ministry said Saturday.

The Palestinian death toll from the latest outbreak of swine flu (H1N1) has risen to 21, director of public health Dr. Asad Ramlawi told Ma'an.

The announcement marked the first fatality in Gaza from the virus. Ramlawi said two others had died in Ramallah and another person in south Hebron in the last two days.

All the victims were children or elderly, he added.

Since December, hundreds of Palestinians have contracted the virus, which has become a seasonal disease according to the World Health Organization.

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