Naegleria claims another life in Karachi

KARACHI, July 04 (PPI): Naegleria Fowleri has claimed another life in Karachi, raising the death toll from brain-eating amoeba in Sindh province to three this year.


Focal Person for the Naegleria Control Committee, Dr Syed Zafar Mehdi, confirmed that a 29-year-old man, Ali Amjad, resident of KDA Scheme-1 Karachi who was teacher at Foundation Public School died of this disease. He had the history of spending four nights at a private marriage lawn for worship.


He said Ali Amjad was admitted to a private hospital on June 25 with high-grade fever with drowsiness where he was diagnosed with Naegleria and died on June 28. He said this is the third death from Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the ‘brain-eating’ amoeba in Sindh this year. He said two cases were reported from Karachi and one from District Tando Allahyar.


Earlier, A 23-year-old man, Asim, son of Hasan, a resident of Haji Muhammad Ismail Magsi Goth, District Tando Allahyar, died of brain-eating Naegleria Fowleri in a private hospital of Karachi in April 2017.


Similarly, a 55-year old man, Sohail Tabbasum died of Naegleria Fowleri in Karachi last week.


Health experts said Naegleria fowleri is a brain-eating amoeba that enters through a person’s nose and starts consuming brain tissue. The amoeba loves warm water and can survive in temperatures as high as 46 degrees. Fresh water bodies such as ponds, lakes, swimming pools, as well as underground and overhead tanks are the most common points.


The Naegleria has a fatality rate of more than 98 percent. It is transmitted when contaminated water enters the body through the nose and cannot be passed person-to-person. The amoeba travels from the nasal membranes to the brain. Symptoms are initially very mild, including a headache, stiff neck, fever and stomach pain. Death usually occurs five to seven days after infection.