KARACHI- Hina Ashfaq, 32-year-old resident of Adamjee Nagar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, died of Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, She was admitted in the hospital in a critical condition a few days ago where she breathed her last.
The patient was 8 months pregnant and was suspected to have contracted the virus while ablution. The patient was taken to Aga Khan University Hospital on Thursday when she complained of the symptoms. The doctors decided not to attempt delivering the baby as there were negligible chances of delivering a normal baby.
According to EDO Karachi Dr. Zafar Ejaz, the patient died due to naegleria in the private hospital where she was brought for treatment. Dr. Zafar also informed that eight people have died from Naegleria so far; seven in Karachi and one in Hyderabad.
Experts say that Naegleria fowleri enters through a person’s nose and starts consuming brain tissues and it takes two to fifteen days for the symptoms to appear and three to five more days before the person dies. The warm water favors the amoeba and can survive in temperatures as high as 46 degrees. Freshwater bodies such as ponds, lakes, swimming pools, as also underground and overhead tanks are the most common points for it to flourish.