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My Friend Died from

Swine Flu

10/14/2009 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Swine flu has been the ammunition for a lot of jokes recently, but last night, Ice-T reminded everyone why it's still a serious issue -- it killed someone close to him.

Ice T & Coco: Click to watch
The rapper and his wife Coco were walking into a Star Magazine party at Bardot last night -- where Ice told TMZ he didn't realize the severity of the illness until recently, when one of his friends caught it and died.

For more information on the disease and how you can prevent it -- click here.

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