Pregnant woman, 31, dies of flu in Jerusalem amid rise in cases; baby born healthy

Woman was 9 months pregnant when she contracted virus; son delivered by Caesarean section before mother put on ventilator, but doctors unable to save her

Illustrative: An ambulance at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem, on November 4, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Illustrative: An ambulance at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem, on November 4, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

A 31-year-old pregnant woman died in Jerusalem on Friday after contracting the flu.

The woman, who was not named, was nine months pregnant when she fell ill two weeks ago.

After she was hospitalized at the Hadassah Medical Center, the woman’s son was born by Caesarian section. The child was said to be healthy.

Immediately after the surgery, the woman was put on a ventilator due to respiratory complications, but her condition deteriorated further and the medical team was unable to save her life.

According to Channel 13 news, in a separate case, an 8-year-old girl from the center of the country remains on a ventilator at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba after also contracting flu.

The report said the girl suffered from a fever and sore throat for two days before she began to have difficulty breathing. Family members were forced to perform CPR on the girl before she was transported to hospital for treatment.

Earlier this month, six-year-old Yosef Naim from Netivot died when he did not wake up after going to sleep with a fever.  Health experts believe he was stricken with myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart — from flu complications.

The Health Ministry warned this week that it was seeing a worrying rise in the number of flu cases, and was taking steps to deal with it alongside efforts to aggressively combat rising COVID cases.

The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that since the start of the flu season, 1,088 people had been hospitalized with flu, including 401 children and 70 pregnant women.

Health officials have warned of a so-called “Twindemic,” with hospitals overwhelmed by simultaneous waves of flu and COVID-19 patients. Last winter those fears were not realized when restrictions largely stamped out flu cases, however, this year is already seeing a rise.

The Health Ministry has urged everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine, noting that it could be received at the same time as a COVID-19 shot for those eligible.

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