Three Gazans die of swine flu


JERUSALEM (JTA) – Three Palestinians have died with the swine flu in three days.

Meanwhile, five Gazan Palestinians suspected of having the virus were transferred Monday from Gaza to Israeli hospitals for treatment. One of the sick patients is a Gaza doctor.

To date, about 10,000 doses of vaccine against swine flu have been transferred to the Gaza Strip via Israel, according to a statement from the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

Sunday’s death of a Palestinian woman was the first from the virus. The first five cases of the H1N1 virus had been diagnosed the previous day, according to reports.

Some Palestinian officials have said reportedly that Israel’s blockade of Gaza has kept the virus from spreading to the coastal strip.

Gaza has a shortage of the swine flu vaccine, with 1,000 doses for its 8,000 health care workers, The Associated Press reported. Palestinians say the shortage is due to the problems between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, according to AP, and not to Israel’s blockade of the strip, which allows medical supplies to be shipped into Gaza.

Some 1,250 Palestinians in the West Bank have contracted the swine flu virus; none have died. More than 8,500 cases of the virus have been confirmed in Israel.

Over the weekend, the 67th Israeli died with the H1N1 virus.

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