Third Swine Flu Death Suspected

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PETAH TIKVA, Israel - Doctors suspect that a 12-year-old girl who died Wednesday evening at Schneider Children's Hospital in Petah Tikva may be the country's third victim of the Swine Flu virus.

Though she suffered from other chronic conditions, the Health Ministry would not rule out the possibility that she succumbed to the H1N1 virus.

The child had been hospitalized after being diagnosed with the virus, but was discharged when her condition improved.

After collapsing at home, she was transported by ambulance to the hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit on Monday. Paramedics were instructed to wear appropriate protection against the virus.

Following her death, the hospital released a statement.

"The girl, who suffers from a severe, complex genetic disease, was hospitalized 10 days ago in the pediatric ward and was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus and pneumonia. The girl was treated with Tamiflu and antibiotics. A week later, following an improvement in her condition, she was released to her house with recommendations for continued treatment.

"Unexpectedly and despite the girl having shown no signs of distress and functioning normally in the morning, she stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest at her home. She underwent resuscitation by the Magen David Adom [Israel's national emergency rescue organization] team and was later transferred on a respirator to Schneider's intensive care unit in critical condition."

Several Israeli hospitals have recommended that family and friends of patients limit visits and when they do visit, wash their hands frequently and use alcohol disinfectant rubs.

Pregnant women, children, babies, and people being treated for chronic diseases, such as cancer, have been advised to avoid crowds.

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