The Health Ministry issued a warning Thursday of a new outbreak of swine influenza after one woman died of the H1N1 virus and six others were infected and hospitalized.
Four of the women infected with swine influenza are currently being hospitalized at Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva. Three of them are pregnant.
Two of the women have seen improvements in their conditions. The other two remain in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. All are quarantined.
In addition, two women from Jerusalem were rushed to hospitals with the virus. They were both placed on respirators.
None of the six women were vaccinated against the virus, and the Health Ministry has called on the public to get flu shots.
The woman who passed away had been fighting for her life the past few days at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.
Known as "swine flu," the infection is caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses, strains of which are endemic in pigs.
This type of influenza is considered more dangerous than an ordinary flu because the human immune system must struggle harder to contain the virus.
Pregnant women and those in the first four weeks post giving birth are at higher risk for developing this type of flu. During pregnancy, a woman's immune system is naturally suppressed and she therefore can become more susceptible to developing the virus.