Gaza Strip reports first swine flu cases

Monday, December 7, 2009

Health officials in the Gaza Strip confirmed the territory's first five cases of H1N1 swine flu earlier today.

The territory's Health Ministry is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to obtain the supplies needed to treat the potentially deadly virus.

Neighbouring Israel has a blockade on Gaza, and Egypt restricts movement across its border with the territory as well. Health officials say that isolation likely kept the H1N1 virus from affecting Gaza sooner.

Mahmoud Daher, a senior official for the WHO, said that Gaza has around 1,000 vaccine doses for the 8,000 medical workers in the territory. West Bank Health Ministry official Asad Ramlawi, however, commented that an additional one million doses would be delivered to the area at the end of the year.