Dubai, UAE: The death of a four-year-old girl in a private hospital is not due to meningitis, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has confirmed in a statement today morning.
“The DHA would like to reassure the community that there are no cases of meningococcal meningitis in Dubai. Further, we would like to request community members to only rely on official information as the spreading of rumours across social media can cause unnecessary panic,” the statement read.
The DHA is extremely well prepared to tackle any contagious diseases. We use all our resources to detect contagious diseases early on and counter them through various measures including immunization, it added.
The statement comes after the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) addressed principals on Wednesday and asked them not to send out messages that could create panic among the community.
The DHA also said: “A four year old girl died in a private hospital in Dubai and rumours were spreading that she had meningococcal meningitis. This is incorrect information. DHA teams took swift action, we conducted our own medical examinations and we confirm that there are no cases of meningococcal meningitis in Dubai.”
On Wednesday, the KHDA calmed parents after a school informed parents of the death of a child from suspected meningitis on Tuesday. The school also said that another child was also sick and in hospital.
The school later sent out a notification to parents saying that the DHA was still investigating the case.
Following the school’s notice, a number of other schools also sent similar notices to parents creating panic among parents. “We have been informed that there are currently suspected cases of meningitis in Dubai,” read a notice to a parent.
In the communication to all school principals KHDA said, “This is to inform you that there are no confirmed cases of meningococcal meningitis in Dubai.”
“Kindly reassure parents.”
“However, we would like the school nurse to communicate with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) School Health Unit in case of any admission to any hospital,” it added.
Meanwhile, the DHA also sent out an immediate communiqué to parents. “As the winter season is beginning, the DHA recommends parents not to send any child to school with fever, sore throat or chest congestion.
Parents expressed worry and concern over the news. “This is a serious situation and I urge authorities to be open about the facts,” said Ambreen Khurram, a mother whose two kids study in grades 3 and 5.
“This will help us take precautions in a better way.”
© Khaleej TimesNov 2015