1st swine flu death suspected in Israel

Lab results due on Monday; Health Ministry allays suspicions toddler died of the virus in Petah Tikva.

swine flu Netanya 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
swine flu Netanya 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Health Ministry was checking suspicions Sunday that a man who passed away at Eilat's Yoseftal Hospital over the weekend had died of swine flu. The 35-year-old man died on Saturday, a day after being admitted to Yoseftal. He was obese, a heavy smoker and had been suffering from pneumonia, but he was also in the high-risk category of those diagnosed with swine flu. Lab tests were being conducted and the results were due on Monday. If the results prove to be positive, it would be the first swine flu death in the country. On Sunday night, the ministry allayed suspicions that a chronically ill two-year-old boy who passed away Friday in Petah Tikva's Schneider Hospital had died of the virus. Some 900 Israelis have come down with swine flu, but most of the cases have been mild. According to the Health Ministry, people suffering from chronic lung diseases and asthma were in greater risk, as well as people suffering from heart diseases, auto-immune issues and obesity. Last week, the World Health Organization announced that the number of death from Swine Flu worldwide reached 700. The number stood at 400 only the month before.