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Bahrain's first known swine flu fatality as mother dies after giving birth

Bahrain News
Wed, 14 Feb 2018
Raji Unnikrishnan
1 of 2

A WOMAN who died under tragic circumstances just two weeks after giving birth is Bahrain’s first known swine flu fatality, the GDN has learnt.

Rupa Manohar, from India, had contracted the virus – also known as H1N1 – and pneumonia, which resulted in her suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

The 33-year-old housewife died on Sunday at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), a fortnight after doctors at a private hospital delivered her infant son by Caesarean section.

She had reported to the private hospital with symptoms of fever.

“She developed fever two weeks ago when she was about 20 days away from her due date,” informed sources told the GDN.

“She went to the private hospital where she was doing her follow-ups and doctors said she tested positive for the H1N1 virus.

“As per medical advice they did a C-section and the baby was healthy and fine, but she was sick and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“She got better in a week’s time, but again developed complications and was referred to SMC on Friday, where she was admitted to the ICU.

“Her blood pressure dropped suddenly and she died on Sunday at around 11.30pm.”

Mrs Manohar’s husband, Manohar Shivanna, works in Bahrain for a private company and the couple, from Tumkur, in Karnataka, also have a five-year-old daughter.

Sources familiar with the case told the GDN that Mrs Manohar had not travelled abroad before contracting H1N1.

“The deceased has not travelled anywhere outside Bahrain for at least the past six months,” they said.

“The rest of the family, including her husband, parents and older daughter tested negative (for H1N1).

“This could mean that she contracted the virus locally, which is a matter of concern – especially with seasonal flu all around.”

A no-objection certificate issued by the Indian Embassy to repatriate her body stated ARDS as the cause of death.

Symptoms of H1N1, which caused panic around the world when it was first reported in 2009, include fever, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue.

It can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing.

The last swine flu statistics released by the Health Ministry stated around 1,500 cases were recorded in Bahrain in 2014, most described as minor to moderate.

In 2015 it said it was fast-tracking the delivery of 25,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine, following a surge in seasonal flu cases.

However, the same year the BDF Hospital denied reports on social media that a patient had died after contracting swine flu.

Health Ministry officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.