20 Israelis seriously ill with swine flu

hospital illustration (photo credit: none)
hospital illustration
(photo credit: none)
Obstetricians at Hadassah University Medical Centerin Jerusalem's Ein Kerem performed a cesarean section to deliver theseven-month-old fetus of a 38-year-old east Jerusalem woman in seriouscondition due to H1N1 flu virus complications.

The baby boy was taken to the neonatal intensivecare unit and was in no danger, but on Thursday the mother was inunstable 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 MedicalCenter on Mount Scopus in her 30th week of pregnancy after contractingthe H1N1 flu and suffering respiratory difficulties that developed intopneumonia. She was immediately given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu andtransferred to Ein Kerem for the surgery.

Weiss said that while pregnant women are more susceptible tocomplications 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, 1,719Israelis have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. The vast majority ofthe cases have been mild, but 20 victims of the virus have been inserious condition, with nine of them in intensive care; one man, ShimonAzran of Eilat, died.

The most recent cases of people in serious condition are a50-year-old woman who has chronic illness; and a 62-year-old woman witha heart condition. The first is in intensive care at Meir MedicalCenter in Kfar Saba, and the second is in intensive care at SorokaUniversity Medical Center in Beersheba.

About 1,200 phone calls from worried residents werereceived by a special ministry H1N1 flu information phone line that wasopen on Wednesday and Thursday. Most of the questions were about risksto pregnant women, the symptoms of the flu and about avoiding theinfection on vacations in Israel and abroad.