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Health Ministry Wary of Swine Flu, Increases H1N1 Vaccines

The Ministry of Health convened Monday to address its concern following a slew of swine flu-related deaths since last Thursday.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 11/30/2009, 8:39 PM / Last Update: 11/30/2009, 8:45 PM

Israel news archive (file)

The Epidemics Treatment Team of the Ministry of Health convened Monday following concern over a slew of swine flu-related deaths since last Thursday.

During the meeting, the staff confirmed that the general population will be eligible for swine flu vaccination in two weeks' time.  The vaccines will be given in tandem with those currently being provided for children under the age of 3 and pregnant women. 

The vaccine being provided to pregnant women and small children is similar to the seasonal flu vaccine. 

On Monday, an 11 year old girl with a background of severe illness as well as a diagnosis of swine flu died at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, the 62nd person to die with the virus.

Also reported Monday was the death of a 25 year old who passed away at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. She also had a background of severe illness.

The Health Ministry stated that while it may not be certain that the two patients died of H1N1 swine flu virus, they were both suffering from the illness at the time of their deaths and are therefore being listed as victims.

On Sunday, four patients died after contracting the virus. A 56 year old man died at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, another man aged 50 died at Laniado hospital in Netanya, a 50 year old woman with a background of severe illness and was diagnosed with the swine flu died at Beilinson hospital in Petach Tikva, and a 40 year old homeless man with swine flu, found injured and unconscious on the street, died at Wolfson hospital in Holon.

Just like in the fatalities on Monday, while these cases cannot be confirmed as directly attributable to the H1N1, the Health Ministry will include them all in their list of swine flu casualties.