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Nine-year-old Ameena Sharaf, an Indian student of Grade 4  at GEMS Our Own Indian High School, died on October 29. She was undergoing treatment for fever, fatigue and nausea at the Al Jalila Children’s Hospital (AJCH) since October 24.

Ameena’s parents had admitted her at the community clinic, after she showed signs of flu on 20 October. She underwent treatment for two days, and then returned to school. The following week, she was re-admitted to the same clinic after severe vomiting.

Her condition deteriorated and the infection spread to her vital organs – kidneys, heart and brain. Ameena was then referred to Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, where she was placed on a respirator about a week before her sad demise.

Hospital authorities  have stated this as “a rare and unique case due to an abnormal response from the child’s immune system that eventually caused her heart to become very weak and led to her very sad death.” They further added that all parents are advised to keep their children at home if they develop a fever and then consult a pediatrician if the fever persists for more than 48 hours.

After this incident, residents in Dubai have been urged to take flu vaccine, which gives patients protection for a year, though they can’t take it at the time of active infection.