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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Mexican flu comes to Israel

We now have two confirmed cases and two more suspected cases of swine Mexican flu here in Israel. This morning, it was confirmed that a 26-year old man who has been hospitalized in Laniado Hospital in Netanya has the virus and this evening it's been confirmed that a 47-year old man who has been hospitalized in Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava has it.
Kfar Saba's Meir Hospital said late Tuesday afternoon that the second person who had contracted the virus was a 47-year-old man who returned to Israel from Mexico two days ago and checked himself in when he felt ill.

It said the Health Ministry tested the man and confirmed he had the strain of the virus present in Mexico that has set off a worldwide health scare.

The hospital said the man was suffering from fever and flu-like conditions, but was expected to make a full recovery. He is being kept in isolation while he is being treated.

Earlier Tuesday, health officials confirmed the country's first case of swine flu in the country.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Einav Shimron said that 26-year-old Tomer Vajim from Netanya, who recently returned from Mexico and has been in quarantine for several days at the city's Laniado Hospital, tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Avinoam Skolnik, Laniado's medical director, said Vajim had recovered and was in "excellent condition," adding that he would remain hospitalized until the Health Ministry approves his release.

In an interview with Channel 1 TV, Vajim said he felt fine.

"I was really scared when they told me I had contracted this kind of flu and that I am the first one," he said. "My family is stressed out. But I feel okay."

Vajim's five-year-old niece was also being held in isolation at the hospital amid concern that she, too, had contracted the virus.
JPost is also reporting that a 42-year old man who recently returned from Mexico was admitted to Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital in Jerusalem with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday.

Israel Radio reported on its 10:00 news that a child has been admitted to Dana Hospital in Tel Aviv and is suspected of having the flu. The child returned from the US on El Al's Saturday night flight from Newark that arrived on Sunday - apparently the same flight as one of the other victims. If you returned from the US on that flight and have flu-like symptoms, please call your doctor.

Meanwhile the Mexicans are concerned by Israel's ultra-Orthodox Health Minister's insistence on calling the virus 'Mexican flu.'
Mexico launched an official complaint to Israel on Tuesday regarding Litzman's suggestion to call swine flu "Mexican flu" in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork.

Mexico's Ambassador to Israel Frederico Salas complained to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that the name Mexican flu was bothersome and worrying.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that Israel had no intention of changing the name of the virus and emphasized the friendly ties between Israel and Mexico.

During a press conference Monday, Litzman said the reference to pigs was offensive to both religions and "we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu."


At 10:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

No insulting the pig, please. Jews may not eat them but you've no doubt noticed they have compassion even for an animal considered by Judaism to be treif. Something to think about.


At 12:32 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

TV News, most especially NBC, is doing their best to start a panic and will leave no byte undisturbed in order to convince us that a "pandemic," (you know the one that has killed nobody in the U.S.) is the greatest menace since Bush-Cheney. Keep in mind that data from Mexico, a rural and mostly primitive country, is as reliable as Congress. A semi-literate population that is very poor is not a good place to adequately test anything beyond reading ability. Keep in mind that you can't catch pig flu from eating pig meat, but the hysteria over this is pushing hog prices way down and pig feed like soy and corn will follow.

At 3:01 AM, Blogger Matt said...

from what I understand the current flu has its origins in both pigs and birds. It is really a swine-avian flu.

Which made a co-worker of mine quip..."I'll get this flu, when pigs fly."

I thought it was funny.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Doesn't Congress have a semi-literate population (albeit a wealthy one) on the Left side of the aisle? It's certainly not a good place to test anything beyond reading ability.


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