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Indian origin 6-year-old girl dies from sudden illness in Dubai

Shiba Fathima, Gulf Asian School dies in Dubai
Indian origin 6-year-old girl Shiba Fathima, Gulf Asian School dies from sudden illness in Dubai

2 months   ago  /  3948

Shiba Fathima, grade 2 student of Gulf Asian School in Sharjah, died on Tuesday morning at a Dubai hospital in Al Nahda and was buried at the Al Quoz graveyard in the evening.

Nasreen Banu, the principal of the school, told Gulf News: “Fathima fell ill and did not come to school for two days. She was under treatment by a local doctor but was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday morning when her condition deteriorated.”

Hospital sources confirmed that Fathima’s parents brought her to the emergency room at 10 am on Tuesday with acute symptoms and she was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) within an hour. She died around 12.30pm.

Her death certificate lists the cause of death as sepsis, Hepatitis, and acute gastroenteritis. She died less than three hours after admission.

In the meanwhile, the school has issued a precautionary health advisory to all parents.


Flu-related deaths

Flu-related deaths are not entirely uncommon and are a major issue across the globe. According to 2018 statistics made available on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, every year, influenza (the virus that causes flu symptoms) annual epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 290,000 to 650,000 respiratory deaths across the globe.

The report added: "The effects of seasonal influenza epidemics in developing countries are not fully known, but research estimates that 99% of deaths in children under five years of age with influenza-related lower respiratory tract infections are found in developing countries."

Warning signs: How do you know if the flu is deadly?

Dr. Gurukanth Neeleshwar Rao, specialist internal medicine at Aster Clinic Bur Dubai, said: "Flu presents itself with symptoms of fever, cough, body ache, sore throat, and a runny nose. It is caused by a virus called Influenza virus."

He added: "Influenza virus is of two types - type A and type B. Flu is a self-limiting disease and no medicines are required, except for paracetamol to control fever. Most people recover within one to two weeks."

However, the flu can be a problem for high-risk patients. "In this case, the virus is the same. However, the severity of the disease is higher for high-risk patients who are usually 65 years or older, young children, pregnant women, uncontrolled diabetics and patients with other pre-existing medical conditions."

A delayed visit to the pediatrician in cases of severe illness can lead to organ failure. "The faster you consult the doctor, the better the chances of recovery," explained Dr. Rao. Furthermore, antibiotics are not the right treatment for the flu. "Influenza is a virus. Patients need to be prescribed antiviral medicines, and parents should not start an antibiotic course on their own."


"Most flu shots are safe for children over six months old and must be taken before the start of the flu season. Any time between September to October is a good time to take the shot." The vaccine gives patients protection for a year and patients can't take it at the time of active infection. A registered doctor or nurse needs to administer the vaccine, and it costs anything between Dh40-Dh80 when purchased at a pharmacy, without insurance.

Danger: What to look out for?

To establish the severity of the case, parents can look out for the following symptoms:

  1. If the child continues to get sicker and has persistent fever
  2. Rapid or troubled breathing means the infection has spread to the lungs
  3. If the child develops a blueish hue to his or her skin
  4. The child is not ready to interact and if the child feels drowsy
  5. Fever with rash
  6. Fever with a severe cough
  7. The child is refusing to take fluids
By: Staff writer  /  Source: gulfnews