Three people have died of swine flu in Armenia since the start of the year, the country's health ministry said Monday, after an outbreak in neighbouring Iran left more than 100 dead.

"All the people who died from the H1N1 virus suffered complications after having sought too late or already suffered from other diseases," ministry spokeswoman Anahit Haytayan told AFP.

Haytayan said the deaths did not constitute "an epidemic of the H1N1 virus" in the country and urged the population to remain calm.

In neighbouring Iran, the virus has left 112 dead and forced the hospitalisation of more than 1,000 since mid-November, authorities said late last month.

A major H1N1 outbreak sparked a World Health Organization pandemic alert in June 2009, after the virus emerged from Mexico and the United States.

The outbreak killed some 18,500 people in 214 countries. The alert was lifted in August 2010.