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Fourth victim dies from H1N1 virus

posted on 03/09/2009: 1779 views

The Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of a 28 year old Syrian from Sharjah on Tuesday due to the H1N1 infection, along with another pregnant woman, bringing the toll of H1N1 influenza deaths in the country to four.

Dr Ali Bin Shakar, Director General at the Ministry of Health, told Gulf News: "The ministry has formed a committee to determine the exact cause of death of the woman, and is investigating the possibility of medical malpractice, as well as where the responsibility falls under the medical accountability law."

The Syrian victim, R.A., was admitted to Al Zahra Hospital on August 18 suffering chest pains, cough, diarrhoea and high fever. She was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and was being treated for it, but her condition continued to deteriorate and on August 30 medical tests revealed that she was infected with the H1N1 virus.

Meanwhile, patients in an Intensive Care Unit at a Sharjah hospital are complaining against keeping suspected cases of swine flu in the ICU with other patients.

A source said the hospital is not offering quarantine places for suspected swine flu victims. "The suspected cases are kept with the other patients, which could lead to spreading the disease among others."

An official from the Ministry of Health said they will investigate. "This is not allowed and it's dangerous. The swine flu cases or suspected cases must not be kept with other patients," the official said.

'No Delay'

An informed Government source has denied that the H1N1 vaccine for Haj pilgrims will be delayed until next year. "The vaccine will be prescribed as necessary. Residents should not panic - the Government is doing its best to counter the H1N1 virus," the source said. Wednesday Gulf News reported sources from the Ministry of Health, the Committee to Combat Swine Flu and the Swiss manufacturer said the vaccine will not be available until 2010. Dr Hamdan Al Mazroui, the head of Islamic Affairs Authority and Awqaf, said the UAE is preparing its delegations to this year's Haj, but also confirmed there has been no information yet on H1N1 vaccine for pilgrims.


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