Well, panic avoided, anyway. Now the public will proceed straight to outrage. It's a frightening thing to have an Israeli government that makes Sharon's look responsible.
A deadly bacterium known as Klebsiella pneumoniae is believed to have killed some 120-200 patients in hospitals across the country.
"Between 400 to 500 people have been infected by the bug, and 30 to 40 percent of them have already died. However, it is important to note that most of them were in a serious condition, and some were suffering from prior medical conditions," said Prof. Yehuda Carmeli, the head of the epidemiology unit at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
According to Carmeli, most of those infected have been hospitalized for over 25 days, and their average age stood at 74-75.
The virulent stain of bacteria is resistant to all kinds of antibiotics, and has already spread in many hospitals across Israel.
Health Minister Yacov Ben Yizri on Wednesday rejected accusations that his ministry had underestimated the scope of the outbreak, saying the case was kept a secret to prevent mass panic.
"It is true that the bug infects people who have been hospitalized with severe illnesses and this should not scare the public," he said.
Infection expert Dr. Galia Rahav of the Sheba Medical Center told Channel 1 Tuesday that 130 people have been infected in Sheba Medical Center alone, and about a third of them have already died.