Swine flu kills Jordanian: health minister (Update)

The H1N1 influenza strain known as swine flu killed a 26-year-old Jordanian man on Sunday, Health Minister Abdullatif Wreikat said on Sunday.

"The 26-year-old died in hospital today in Irbid," in northern Jordan, Wreikat told state-run Petra news agency.

"He was taken to the Princess Basma (public) Hospital three days ago suffering from severe pneumonia. Medical tests showed H1N1 infection, which led to the man's death."

H1N1 influenza has killed 25 people in Jordan in recent years.

In 2009, an H1N1 epidemic erupted in Mexico and spread into a worldwide pandemic that caused at least 17,000 deaths.

In 1997, the H5N1 strain of influenza, commonly known as bird flu, broke out in Hong Kong.

Spreading from live birds to humans through direct contact, it causes fever and breathing problems and claimed 359 human lives in 15 countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, from 2003 to August of this year, according to the World Health Organisation.

Nearly all major epidemic diseases in humans originated in livestock and health professionals keep a constant watch on animal diseases to assess the risk of strains developing that can cross the species barrier.

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