There were no infectious cases of swine flu documented in Israel as of Friday at noon after both of the Israeli patients with confirmed contractions of the virus were released after a full recovery and three other suspected appearances of the disease turned out to be false alarms.
In the first suspected incident of swine flu in northern Israel,
a 26-year-old woman came to the Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Friday morning, with flu-like symptoms complaining of a high fever. She said she had been in contact with a young man who had recently returned from Mexico and been ill.
She was isolated, as a precautionary measure, while extensive tests were run but results showed that she had not contracted the virus.
Likewise, the Health Ministry reported that two more suspected carriers in central Israel - a young girl hospitalized in Kfar Saba's Meir Medical Center and an elderly woman hospitalized in Laniado Hospital in Netanya - had tested negative for the virus. The girl's school in Raanana had been canceled to prevent any potential spread of disease.
A number of other false alarms
had taken place in recent days. Meanwhile, the only two documented patients of infection in Israel - 26-year-old Tomer Vajim at Laniado Hospital and a 47-year-old man at Meir Medical Center - were released after a full recovery.
In Mexico, where the virus first appeared, health authorities said Thursday they had confirmed 300 swine flu cases and 12 deaths due to the virus among a total of 679 people tested so far.
Slightly further north, worries about the spread of the virus mounted in the United States as the swine flu caseload passed 100.
US authorities pledged to eventually produce enough swine flu vaccine for everyone but say that the shots couldn't begin until fall at the earliest. Until a vaccine is ready, the government has stockpiled anti-viral medications that can ease flu symptoms or help prevent infection.
Similar caution appeared in the Pacific southwest when a New Zealand government minister went into self-imposed isolation Friday after coming down with flu symptoms. Meanwhile, Australian health officials recommended people stockpile food in case a swine flu pandemic forces them to stay at home.
Raanan Ben-Zur and AP contributed to this report