Hospitals were swamped Wednesday morning with patients seeking treatment for the swine flu, which hit Israel for the second sequential winter.
The Health Ministry announced Wednesday morning that 14 people had been hospitalized in critical condition, among them six children.
Three people have already died from the flu this year, including a 15-year old boy who appeared healthy but succumbed to the disease within a single day.
Idan Levy's death was said to have sparked a panic, and Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv bore the brunt of it late Tuesday night. Patients arrived in droves, carrying children displaying flu symptoms, and many found themselves waiting for a spare bed for up to four hours.
Central Israel was hit hardest this year, according to the ministry's data, with 3,043 people seeking treatment, while Jerusalem was least affected, with just 457 people seeking medical assistance. More than 8,000 people altogether have had symptoms, the ministry said.