Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba, took away the life of a patient, who passed away in Karachi’s private hospital, on May 7th’2018. This is said to be this year’s first death due to the deadly organism.
Focal Person for the Naegleria Control Committee, Dr. Syed Zafar Mehdi, confirmed that a 40-year-old man, Pervez, resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar died in a private hospital of Karachi. He was brought to the hospital, a day before where he unfortunately expired during treatment.
Dr. Zafar informed that this brain-eating amoeba has claimed six lives in Karachi in the year 2017. He explained that, Naegleria fowleri enters through a person’s nose and starts consuming brain tissue. It can survive in high temperatures. Fresh water bodies such as ponds, lakes, swimming pools, as well as underground and overhead tanks are the most common spots for its growth.
Appropriate chlorination is the main method to kill the organism and keep this life-threatening disease at bay.
Sindh Health Department has constituted a six-member focal group to formulate strategy for control of naegleria fowleri.
The representatives of Karachi Water & Sewerage Board, Human Resources Department Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Health Education Officer, Director Health Office Karachi, Assistant Executive Engineer of Public Health Engineering Department, Karachi and Executive Engineer of District Council, Karachi, all are members of this focal group.
Naegleria Prevention Centre at COD Filtration Plant will be the focal point for testing and strategizing on a daily basis. Immediate action for chlorination as per World Health Organization (WHO) standards will be implemented, and vulnerable areas will be given special attention.