surgeons (illustrative)
surgeons (illustrative)Israel news photo (file)

A 40 year old pregnant woman in her 32nd week who was hospitalized a month ago and diagnosed with the H1N1 swine flu has passed away. The woman, who suffered from asthma, died Monday at Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, and is being listed as Israel's 76th swine flu fatality.

During the course of her hospitalization, her baby was delivered by Caesarian section, pronounced healthy, and sent home, according to the Ministry of Health.

Officials say that 400 pregnant women have been diagnosed with H1N1 since the outbreak of the virus in Israel. Of those, 15 were hospitalized, with 3 succumbing to the illness.

The Ministry of Health says the appearance of illnesses resembling the flu is continuing to decrease in the country. Last week, however, there was an increase in severe upper respiratory infections in citizens of all age groups. There has also been a proliferation of referrals for pneumonia among children under the age of 2. 

The extent of the use of artificial respirators and the mortality rate are within the expected ranges.  Approximately 30% of blood samples sent to sentinel clinics – clinics used to track epidemics – were positive for flu.  95.5% were found to be pandemic swine flu, with the other 4.5% ordinary seasonal flu.