NAT_181115 Alia with her younger brother Ayaan Ali_SCH
Aliya with her younger brother Ayan in happier times. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The cause of the death 17-year-old Aliya Niyaz Ali is under investigation, said her father Niyaz Ali. The unfortunate death of the grade 12 Indian student due to suspected flu complications on Tuesday sent shockwaves through the community.

The Rashid Hospital team that treated Alia issued a statement on Thursday but it did not verify the nature of the virus. It read: “A young female patient who had been treated earlier in a private health care facility arrived to the Emergency Department in Rashid Hospital on Tuesday November 13, 2018 in an advanced shock state.

“Emergency management care including appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures were instituted immediately. However, her condition deteriorated rapidly during her stay in the Emergency department and unfortunately she succumbed to death within a few hours of her arrival to the hospital. Rashid Hospital extends their deepest condolences to her family, school and the community.”

Aliya with her brother and mother Fareeda.
Aliya with her brother and mother Fareeda. Image Credit: Supplied

Aliya’s father Ali told Gulf News: “A representative from the health authority had called us on Wednesday evening wanting to know if ‘we are all feeling well’. I told her that my younger son Ayan had a similar fever two weeks ago but has recovered completely. We took him for a viral swab which was negative so his infection has cleared.”

“The health authority representative told us they were investigating my daughter’s death and samples had been sent for further test and that it would take some time to ascertain the true cause of her death,” said Ali

The grieving members of Alia’s family clarified that they had the highest regard for the health care in the land and without wanting to be critical they wished to register their feedback.

Ali said: “The doctors at the hospital had not actually begun the treatment of Alia and were only investigating her condition with a battery of tests and IV fluids. A senior doctor from the team clearly told me: “This is the rarest or rare cases and we have no idea why fluid has collected around Alia’s heart and abdomen areas. There could be several reasons for it such as a virulent strain of virus that we have yet to test, food poisoning or ingesting of some toxic substance. My daughter had walked into the emergency and within a few hours breathed her last. I just want to alert other parents so that her death is not in vain.”

Another health specialist said an autopsy could have easily determined the true strain of her infection and the cause of her death. Commenting on a possible unidentified strain of virus that may have affected Alia, Dr Gurukant Neeleshwar Rao, specialist internal medicine at Aster Clinic Bur Dubai, said : “While only a couple of influenza viruses have been isolated, there are different strains that are yet to be discovered. There are deadlier strains that cause Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and it is likely another new strain may be waiting to be isolated.”

Dr Rao added that parents need not panic if their child has fever. “The clinic they visit can do a viral swab test to ascertain if there is any viral infection. If positive they doctor can start them on anti virals.”