Israelis rush to get vaccinated as flu crisis intensifies with 11 dead – The Jerusalem Post

Israelis are flooding into health care branches across the country to be
vaccinated against the flu after 11 Israelis have died and 98 people were hospitalized due to complications caused by the infectious disease.

A 30-year-old woman is in severe condition after being hospitalized for complications caused by the flu as the disease continues to spread throughout Israel, according to Channel 12.

The woman, a mother to a ten-month-old baby, was brought to Wolfson Hospital in Holon on Saturday and, as of Thursday, she was sedated and on a respirator.

A one-and-a-half-year-old child was brought to the Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot in critical condition on Wednesday and passed away shortly after. She was the eleventh Israeli to
die of the flu since the start of the season, according to Army Radio.

Halel Dahbash, a 19-year-old from the town of Nirya, died on Tuesday at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem from complications caused by the flu. A 14-year-old girl with prior conditions died of the disease on Tuesday at Sheba Medical Center Hospital at Tel Hashomer in Tel Aviv.

A man in his 50s died at the Assuta Ashdod Medical Center on Sunday, Channel 12 reported.

Thus far, 98 Israelis have been hospitalized due to flu-related complications, according to Ynet.

Prof. Dr. Yaakov Lavi stated that “veteran doctors such as us have never encountered such aggressiveness with the disease and this is a warning sign for us all.”

“I’ve seen flu patients for many years, but we’ve never encountered a flu this severe and aggressive,” said Lavi, stressing that a patient he was treating who is now in critical condition was a “completely healthy man. You can’t think, ‘this won’t happen to me.’”

Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Itamar Grotto, added that flu in the winter is nothing new, but that the early and quick spread of the disease is unusual. “These two phenomena show that the peak is still ahead of us, and we definitely need to prepare for a winter that will not be simple.”

Vaccination rates in Israel were lower than usual two weeks ago, according to Ynet. In the past two days, Israeli have rushed to get vaccinated as more and more people are hospitalized with complications caused by the flu.

All the health funds (kupot holim) announced that large amounts of people arrived on Thursday to receive the flu vaccine, according to Kan. Some branches ran through their entire supply of vaccinations. Kupat Holim Maccabi ordered 45,000 more vaccinations that should arrive on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the National Center for Disease Monitoring found that amid a substantial rise in flu cases, the H1N1 strain of the flu, also known as Swine Flu, was the dominant strain affecting Israelis, according to Israel Hayom.

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