At least nine people have died in the West Bank in a new outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, known as “swine flu”. A further 187 people were reported to have been infected with the virus.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced that a state of emergency has been called and that “all health sectors are on standby”. The World Health Organisation in 2009 declared swine flu the first global flu pandemic in 40 years.
Israel’s Health Ministry stated that no special arrangements were being prepared in Israel in light of the deaths, but said it was keeping a close eye on the latest outbreak of the virus. About 85 Israelis reportedly died of the flu strain in 2009.