Doctors are urging patients to take flu vaccinations after a man died last week in Dubai due to pneumonia caused by influenza.
Dr Mohammed Ashraf, specialist in Internal Medicine, Universal Hospital, said that the 35-year-old Pakistani man was healthy but his condition deteriorated rapidly. "He was a very healthy, active and robust young man, but he suddenly died from pneumonia caused by influenza."
The patient had become unconscious on the second day in hospital, and the illness even affected his brain. "The virus can affect the lower airways and can progress into pneumonia."
A rapid spread in flu cases is being seen this season worldwide, including in the UAE, where influenza type A and B are topping the doctors' charts.
Dr Ashraf said he is receiving about 10 patients a day, and there are five doctors on the floor, thus totaling to around 50 patients admitted per day with the flu.
Influenza has resulted in hundreds of deaths around the world last month alone. "The number of cases are increasing everyday and some of the patients develop complications, including pneumonia."
Prevention is the key, Dr Ashraf noted, and taking the flu vaccination before the fall season is crucial. "The number of cases would have decreased if people had taken their vaccinations at the right time."
Doctors claim the UAE's rapid change in weather and cooler temperatures has seen a rise in the number of flu cases to double the usual number, in just the last month.