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Russia Records First H1N1 Deaths

Two Russian women have died from H1N1 swine flu in the country's first fatalities from the virus, health officials were quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

Russia has registered several hundred cases of the virus in humans, but has not previously confirmed any deaths.

The two women, aged 29 and 50, died in Chita in Russia's Far East, close to the border with China and about 7,000 kilometers east of Moscow, Russia's chief sanitary official Gennady Onishchenko was quoted as saying.

"Both had confirmed A/H1N1 diagnoses and suffered from pneumonia," Onishchenko said.

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His spokeswoman could not be reached immediately for comment on the Interfax report.

In the United States, more than 1000 people have died from the virus and a national emergency was declared on October 24 by US President Barack Obama.