Israel: Death of 3-Year-Old May be Linked to Swine Flu

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A post mortem on a 3-year-old boy who died in Petach Tikvah earlier in the week indicates he died of Swine Flu, the first fatality from the illness recorded in Israel since 2009. Health Ministry officials fear the child who was brought to Schneider Children’s Hospital was a victim of the illness based on preliminary pathological findings.

The child was found in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived on Monday, 3 Shevat 5773 at 7:00am. He was transported to Schneider as advanced life support was being implemented. Family members report that he did not complain of anything other than feeling ill from his elevated fever.

The paramedics reported that they noticed blotches on his body as they began CPR, which was unsuccessful. Tissue samples were sent to the ministry lab in Tel Hashomer Hospital, leading to the diagnosis of swine flu. Officials at Schneider feared deadly meningococcal bacteria, leading to an autopsy to obtain additional information.

While the announcement was made to the media, officials at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute report they are still uncertain if the death was from swine flu, explaining the child was autistic and had other underlying medical issues which seem to complicate the picture.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)