American newspapers have been filled with news on the current flu epidemic in recent days. The disease is spreading through urban centers and hospitals. Although it tends to not pose much of risk for adults, the elderly, babies and the infirmed are at increased risk. Americans are not the only ones feeling the crunch of flu season.
Although not typically associated with warm climates, Israel is in the midst of its own flu epidemic. Some hospitals are reporting a 55% surge in flu cases. Many medical centers have been caught off guard by the volume of cases. So far no fatalities have been reported. Israeli medical officials are advising flu patients to stay in bed and proceed to the hospital if symptoms do not improve.
Israel typically ranks high in developed nations when it comes to access to quality medical care. Although the system is top notch, recent years have seen increases in foreign-born pathogens mainly due to globalization. This is not Israel’s first brush with a flu outbreak. The recent swine flu outbreak affected people in Israel.
Although typically not a health risk, the economic cost of a flu epidemic can reach into the billion’s between lost work and productivity. Besides, can you put a price on health? Check back for more Jewish news.