Two new deaths take Saudi H1N1 death toll to four

RIYADH Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:08pm EDT

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia reported two more H1N1 flu deaths on Friday, taking fatalities in the kingdom to four as it prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims for the pilgrimages in September and November.

The official Saudi Press Agency quoted the Health Ministry as saying a 32-year-old Saudi male nurse died on Friday in the central city of Qassim.

A second Saudi man, aged 25, also died on Friday of the disease in the southern city of Assir.

On Thursday, the ministry said a 28-year-old Indonesian woman died in Dammam, in the east of the kingdom, which has a large population of Asian guest workers.

Saudi Arabia announced its first H1N1 death on Monday, a 30-year-old Saudi man in Dammam. Saudi Arabia has reported about 300 human cases of swine flu.

Saudi officials have said they would use thermal cameras and have more medics on stand-by as part of measures to help limit the spread of flu during the haj pilgrimage in November.

The kingdom also expects tens of thousands of pilgrims from Muslim countries to come for the minor umra pilgrimage during the last 10 days of the fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on August 22.

(Reporting by Souhail Karam; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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