JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a third case of flu-related deaths in Israel within 4 days, Hillel Dachbash, a 19-year-old yeshiva student from the village of Neriah near Jerusalem, died in Shaarei Tzedek of complications from the flu disease he had contracted a few days earlier.
Dachbash, who studied at the Elon Moreh yeshiva, had been sick for a few days and had been treated within his community. On Monday he collapsed and was taken in critical condition to Shaarei Tzedek hospital after undergoing resuscitation in the ambulance. Doctors succeeded in restoring his pulse but after his systems failed and after he was attached to an ECMO machine for a few hours, doctors were forced to declare his death.
On Tuesday morning, a 3-year-old girl with underlying health conditions died from the flu and three days ago, a 14-year old girl, also with underlying health conditions, died in Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer from complications of the flu. At the same time, a 10-year-old girl is in serious condition after suffering kidney failure as a result of flu complications and a 40-year-old man is also in serious condition and attached to a heart-lung machine as a result of complications from flu.
Doctors in Israel have warned that flu is no common cold which is easily treatable and can be overcome by the body, but rather a contagious disease which in rare complicated cases can cause organ failure and death.
Prof. Chagai Levine, head of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians, told Israeli site Ynet that “this year, dozens of flu patients have been hospitalized across the country, some requiring intensive care. We’re seeing a rise in morbidity from previous years.”
Israel’s Health Ministry is concerned about the number of people seriously ill with the flu and the low vaccination rate of only 16% of the population. The morbidity rate from the flu has risen significantly from the beginning of the winter compared to the same period last year.
The Director of the Health Ministry, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, called on the public to be vaccinated against the flu and added: This year, the number of people with the flu has gone up tremendously. The flu began earlier this year and it’s rising at a fast rate with a high morbidity rate. There’s a solution – go get vaccinated.”