Woman Dies of Swine Flu as Virus' Death Toll in Israel Reaches 48

Nazareth resident is one of six people who died of the virus, unrelated to chronic medical conditions.

A 51-year-old Nazareth woman who suffered from high blood pressure died on Monday from complications of swine flu, becoming the 48th person to die of the pandemic in Israel.

Her high blood pressure could not be counted as a serious medical condition, making her only one of six patients in the country to die from complications unrelated to chronic illness.

The women was diagnosed with the virus on November 9, but refused physicians' recommendations to be hospitalized.

Two days later, she was brought to the emergency room with acute bronchitis.

The woman was initially treated with the H1N1 antibody Tamiflu, but her condition continued to deteriorate.

On Sunday, the doctors decided to treat the woman with the experimental drug Peramivir. Israel only recently bought the drug, and it has proven helpful in cases in which the patient suffers from serious symptoms.

The treatment was unsuccessful and the woman died several hours later.

This was not the first time an Israeli hospital decided to treat a swine flu patient with the experimental drug.

Last week, the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa reported that it had successfully treated a 30-year-old man using Peramivir, after he had been hospitalized due to swine flu complications.

Some 45,000 Israelis have been vaccinated against the H1N1 virus in the last several weeks.