A 28-year-old woman who suffered from swine flu died at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba on Monday.
Doctors said she arrived at the hospital in critical condition and that they were forced to pronounce her dead after attempts to resuscitate her failed. They said that she had not been vaccinated against the H1N1 virus.
The woman was the second Israeli to die of the disease this winter: a 3-year-old boy succumbed to the virus two weeks ago.
Health Ministry officials said the flu vaccine administered this year includes immunization against the life-threatening virus.
Children, the elderly, patients with chronic illnesses, and pregnant women are considered to be at a high risk of contracting the disease.
Hundreds of cases of the H1N1 virus were recorded in the West Bank in recent weeks, with at least 10 people dying as a result of the illness.
Winter ailments have driven an overwhelming number of patients to Israel’s hospitals, leading an official to call on the public Monday to stay away from emergency rooms unless there was no other way to obtain medical attention.
On Sunday, many hospitals declared they had reached or exceeded full capacity, with medical centers in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tiberias, Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Holon reporting overcrowding that in some cases reached 150 percent of their maximum.
A government medical official told Israel Radio that those who feel unwell should go to their local family doctors rather than the hospital.
The current wave is a seasonal phenomenon as winter brings with it a spate of flu, lung infections and other ailments.