25-year-old Woman With No Prior Ailments Dies of Swine Flu

Woman is Israel's 79th swine flu fatality; Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman gets vaccinated.

A 25-year-old woman who did not suffer from any other ailments died of swine flu at an Afula hospital on Monday. The resident of the northern Israel town of Migdal Haemek is Israel's 79th swine flu fatality.

The young woman arrived to the emergency room at Afula's Haemek Hospital in serious condition, suffering from shortness of breath and high fever.

The hospital reported that she was diagnosed with swine flu and was treated with Tamiflu and later with the experimental drug Permivir, which is intended for patients in critical condition. The woman's health nonetheless deteriorated and she died overnight.

Later on Monday, Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman arrived at Jerusalem's Health Bureau and got vaccinated against swine flu, and called on the Israeli public to do the same.

Of Israel's 79 swine flu fatalities, three were pregnant women, and 13 were obese. Among the 204 patients hospitalized with swine flu in serious condition, 15 were pregnant women. Despite the Health Ministry's effort to acquire seven million doses of the swine flu vaccine, solely 225,364 have actually been immunized.

Following the death of a pregnant woman last week, the national task force on epidemiology recommended that all Israelis be offered the option of receiving the vaccine without an adjuvant, an additive that bolsters the immune system's response.

The task force concluded that fear of adjuvants may be deterring some people from getting vaccinated. While vaccines with adjuvants have been used for years in Europe and Canada, they have yet to be approved for use in the United States, leading some Israelis to fear they are less safe.