A 43-year-old Qatari has died of the Influenza A H1N1 virus, the first such death the country has seen this year, the Supreme Council of Health has said.
The man, who was admitted to the hospital last week, complained of having difficulty breathing and registered a high temperature. He also suffered from chronic diseases. Despite receiving treatment for the flu, he died on Thursday, the SCH said.
In 2009, the rapid spread of H1N1, formerly known as Swine Flu, prompted the World Health Organization to declare the virus a pandemic, the first global pandemic since 1968.
As a precaution, Qatar residents have been urged to get their flu shots and to visit the nearest health center when they experience flu symptoms such as an elevated temperature, coughing, sneezing or shortness of breath.
Health issues have been in the spotlight lately as WHO tracks a new coronavirus (nCoV) that has claimed several victims from the GCC.
So far, there are 17 confirmed cases of the infection, including 11 deaths. The latest person to die of the virus was a 73-year-old man from the UAE late last month. Many of the other patients have hailed from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.
Health officials have still not determined how the virus spreads, but stress that the infection is not widespread or a cause for deep concern. In its latest update, WHO said they do not advise special screening at points of entry nor recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.
Meanwhile, washing your hands and covering your mouth while coughing still appear to be the easiest ways to keep germs at bay.
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