Illustrative Flash 90

After a woman was revealed on Thursday to have died from the H1N1 virus - commonly known as swine flu - an updated count was released by the Health Ministry showing there are 13 Israelis known to be suffering from the virus, with nine of them in serious condition.

Several of those receiving treatment have existing additional illnesses heightening their risk of coming down with swine flu, and indeed the woman aged in her 50s who passed away from the disease was also suffering from background illnesses.

She had been treated at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva before being transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva around a month ago in very serious condition. Medical staff fought for several weeks to save her life but in the end she tragically died from the illness.

The Health Ministry has called on the public to get a flu vaccine, noting the inoculation is also effective against H1N1.

Of the patients currently in serious condition, three are pregnant women, and likewise a four-year-old girl has come down with the swine flu.

The pregnant patients are hospitalized in Soroka Hospital; the condition of two of them has improved and they are receiving treatment in quarantine.

The third pregnant patient, a 25-year-old woman, is currently on artificial respiration and is hospitalized in the emergency treatment unit. Due to her serious condition, on Wednesday she was given a Caesarian section; the baby was transferred to the premature birth emergency treatment unit in stable condition.

On Thursday the swine flu outbreak was shown to have spread to the north as well, as a 55-year-old man and 64-year-old woman were hospitalized at the Medical Center of the Galilee in Nahariya in serious condition, and were diagnosed as having swine flu. The two are on artificial respiration and suffered from background illnesses.

A woman in her 40s is hospitalized at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem in serious condition, is on artificial respiration and has been put to sleep with anesthetics. Two women, one in her 30s and the other in her 40s, are hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in the capital, in serious but stable condition and likewise on artificial respiration after having been put to sleep.

Also in Jerusalem, a 46-year-old man is hospitalized at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital; he arrived in moderate condition but is currently classified as being in light condition, and does not require artificial respiration.

Hadassah Hospital released information gathered in the last several days, showing that 27% of the flu checks have come up positive, and 80% of the flu cases indicate swine flu.