BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 9 Aug 2009
The death toll from H1N1 influenza has jumped to six in the UAE with two more cases of fatalities reported on Tuesday.
The UAE Ministry of Health (MoH) has confirmed that the victims of the new swine flu cases included an Emirati senior citizen, aged 75 years, and an eight-month-old Emirati toddler.
“The elderly man had suffered from chronic diseases and severe respiratory complications called dyspnea, while the infant was facing cardiac disorders and undergone treatments in the US,” revealed the ministry in a WAM statement.
“The UAE government has been playing an active role in combating the spread of the disease in the country ever since the outbreak of the disease around the world,” said Dr Ali Ahmed Bin Shakar, Director General of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Chairman of the Technical Health Committee for Combating H1N1.
“Various health authorities and operators in the healthcare industry are taking effective steps and curative measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” he added.
Meanwhile, the MoH has stated the number of death cases due to swine flu is less than 0.5 per cent, if compared to the total reported cases of H1N1 virus infection in the UAE.
A 63-year-old Indian man was the first reported swine flu fatality in the UAE that happened on Aug.18 at Dubai Hospital.
The second prey to H1N1 virus in the country was a 30-year-old Pakistani pregnant woman, who died three weeks after the first fatality. Her baby also had been delivered by a Caesarean-section, as she suffered severe complications due to H1N1 virus infection.
The third death was of a 28-year-old Syrian woman from Sharjah on Sept.1 due to the H1N1 infection. The victim was admitted to Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah on Aug.18 after suffering from chest pains, cough, diarrhea and pneumonia. It was confirmed on Aug.30 that she had been affected by the H1N1 virus and passed away on the second day.
The MoH later launched a probe into the death of the woman. A special committee is reviewing the treatment procedures applied on her and the actual reasons behind her death.
The fourth person who succumbed to H1N1 infection was a 26-year-old Indian nurse. The victim Deepti Gopinath died on Sept.1 at Al Ain Hospital, days after delivering a baby girl.
Eight-month pregnant Deepti was admitted to the hospital on Aug.22 with severe respiratory complications and had undergone a Caesarian section to deliver her baby. She was confirmed to have swine flu infection on Aug.30 and died on Sep1.
The MoH had disclosed that two out of the total six swine flu fatalities were young women in the late stages of their pregnancy.