20 Israelis seriously ill with swine flu

Woman with H1N1 undergoes surgical delivery of baby; 2 women join toll of severely sick with virus.

Hospital 88,248 GENERIC good image (photo credit: )
Hospital 88,248 GENERIC good image
(photo credit: )
Obstetricians at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem performed a cesarean section to deliver the seven-month-old fetus of a 38-year-old east Jerusalem woman in serious condition due to H1N1 flu virus complications. The baby boy was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit and was in no danger, but on Thursday the mother was in unstable condition and attached to a respirator after the surgery. Dr. Yoram Weiss, head of the hospital's intensive care unit, said the woman was initially admitted to Hadassah University Medical Center on Mount Scopus in her 30th week of pregnancy after contracting the H1N1 flu and suffering respiratory difficulties that developed into pneumonia. She was immediately given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and transferred to Ein Kerem for the surgery. Weiss said that while pregnant women are more susceptible to complications of H1N1 flu, not all are at high risk and that there was "no need for them to panic." The Health Ministry reported that so far, 1,719 Israelis have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. The vast majority of the cases have been mild, but 20 victims of the virus have been in serious condition, with nine of them in intensive care; one man, Shimon Azran of Eilat, died. The most recent cases of people in serious condition are a 50-year-old woman who has chronic illness; and a 62-year-old woman with a heart condition. The first is in intensive care at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, and the second is in intensive care at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. About 1,200 phone calls from worried residents were received by a special ministry H1N1 flu information phone line that was open on Wednesday and Thursday. Most of the questions were about risks to pregnant women, the symptoms of the flu and about avoiding the infection on vacations in Israel and abroad.