Iran's swine flu cases reach 23
Iran's Minister of Health, Kamran Lankarani, has confirmed new cases infected with the H1N1 flu, pushing the tally to 23, Press TV reported.
"Seven new cases have tested positive for the new H1N1 strain," Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education, told reporters.
He added that most of the 23 individuals who have tested positive for swine flu in the country have recently returned from attending the Umrah hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Some of the patients have also returned from trips to southeast Asian countries, like Thailand and Singapore, as well as the US.
Despite recent restrictions put on the hajj pilgrimage, many seniors, pregnant women and children still continue to visit Saudi Arabia, where some 400 positive cases of swine flu have been identified.
"Washing hands regularly and practicing good personal hygiene can reduce the infection risk by 60 percent," Lankarani insisted.
Lankarani also called on citizens to hold off on their traditionally warm greetings, foregoing hugs and kisses to tourists returning from other countries to contain the spread of infection.
Iran's first swine flu case was a 16-year-old Iranian-American boy, who tested positive on June 22, upon arrival in Tehran.