Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir / TPS

Israel’s Health Ministry is reporting a spike in the number of visits to hospitals due to pneumonia, rather than influenza, so far.

“The percentage of visits to internal medicine and pediatric emergency rooms is above the multi-annual average,” according to figures from the Israel Center for Disease Control (ICDC) / Ministry of Health database for the first week of January 2019.
There has also been an upswing in the number of visits to pediatric emergency rooms due to bronchiolitis, “as seasonally expected,” ICDC reported.


In general, the incidence of influenza and the RSV virus this year has been lower than usual so far, with just 11 percent of hospitalized patient specimens positive for influenza – out of a total of 33 specimens, 21 were positive for influenza A and 12 were positive for influenza A/H1N1 2009. Approximately 18 percent were positive for RSV. Approximately 3 percent of the specimens were found to be positive for adenovirus and approximately 2 percent of the specimens were found to be positive for parainfluenza-3.

In Israel, 1.6 million people were immunized against seasonal influenza by January 1, 2019 – some 18 percent of the total population of the country, including infants age 6 months and older.