Syrian Health Ministry reports first swine flu death

Syria reported its first swine flu death on Thursday. The country's Health Ministry said a 24-year-old man from a Damascus suburb died of the disease on Wednesday. He suffered from a severe lung infection and kidney failure, which complicated his condition. Syria has 25 reported cases of swine flu, mostly Syrians who returned from countries with high infection rates. Authorities have kept up strict health checks on travelers arriving in Syria. Syria has also joined other Muslim countries in announcing it will prevent children, the elderly and the chronically ill from making the annual hajj pilgrimage to Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, in a move meant to curb the spread of the illness. The hajj this year falls in late November.