First Swine Flu Breakout in Gaza

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GAZA STRIP - Five Palestinians were diagnosed with swine flu on Sunday, in what Gaza health officials are calling the area's first cases.

According to the World Health Organization, Gaza does not have enough vaccine for health care workers, despite the fact that Israel has never limited the supply of medicines to the Strip.

Health officials in the Gaza Strip claim that the Palestinian Authority routinely short changes them on medical supplies.

There are just 1,000 doses of swine flu vaccine and some 8,000 health employees, according to World Health Organization senior official Mahmoud Daher.

One and a half million Palestinians live in Gaza, which has been ruled by Hamas since 2007 when it wrested control from PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.

PA Health Ministry official Dr. Asad Ramlawi said one million doses of the vaccine are expected sometime after mid-December, which will be equally divided between the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip.

According to Ramlawi, there have 1,250 cases of swine flu in Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank.

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Source: The Associated Press

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