A Qatari man has died from swine flu in his home country after falling ill in Dubai, according to a report. The Doha-based Gulf Times said the 36-year-old was admitted to hospital following arrival from Dubai where he had been suffering from flu-like symptoms for a week and had visited a hospital twice. He is the first person to die in Qatar from the pandemic. The man was said to be suffering from acute pneumonia and high temperature when he was brought to Hamad General Hospital on July 26. He was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus and moved to intensive care.
Two men in Saudi Arabia also died at the weekend after contracting swine flu, bringing the total deaths from the virus in the kingdom to four cases. A 32-year-old nurse showed symptoms of swine flu three weeks ago and was admitted to hospital in the central province of Al-Qassim. But after having left the hospital at his own responsibility, he re-entered its emergency clinic and died on Friday, the official SPA news agency quoted the health ministry as saying.
A 25-year-old man, a heavy smoker, was admitted to hospital for throat and chest inflammation and carried a fever after which he also died on Friday, the ministry said. In the past week, an Indonesian woman and a Saudi man have also died from the virus. The swine flu deaths have stoked fears over the expected influx of millions of pilgrims from around the world to the cities of Mecca and Medina during the next five months.
Saudi health officials say the number of swine flu cases in the country has already exceeded 300. Last month, Arab health ministers agreed to ban certain vulnerable groups including the elderly and young children from the Mecca pilgrimage in an effort to contain the spread of swine flu. The UAE has 125 confirmed cases of swine flu, according to the Ministry of Health with 35 people still receiving treatment in hospitals. *with AFP