H1N1 Suspected in New Flu Death

A patient receives a vaccination against the H1N1 Swine Flu. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
A patient receives a vaccination against the H1N1 swine flu. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A fifth person has passed away from the influenza virus this season, and health officials are very concerned that the virus was of the H1N1 variety. The 35-year-old woman passed away Wednesday from complications attributed to the virus at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah. Doctors are evaluating the situation in order to determine the exact cause of death.

The victim was a mother of five from the chareidi community in Petach Tikvah. Family members said that after she had been hospitalized, doctors recommended that she be inoculated against H1N1 – indicating that they may have suspected she was suffering from the disease.

So far, four other deaths have been attributed to H1N1, but there may be as many as two dozen people in hospitals with the disease, several from the chareidi community. Numerous Rabbanim have stated that receiving an H1N1 inoculation is a matter of pikuach nefesh, and that all those approved by doctors for an inoculation should receive one.

H1N1 made headlines in Israel and worldwide in 2009, when health authorities prepared for mass infections that eventually did not materialize. However, there were a significant number of cases then, and the disease resurfaces each winter. Women, especially expectant women, are among those most at risk of contracting the disease, medical officials said.

Concern over the resurgence of the disease mounted last month when officials at Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah said that a woman in her 50s who had been hospitalized after contracting the disease passed away. She was one of at least eight women who are currently being treated for the disease, with some in serious condition.