What is Naegleria and how you can protect yourself from the deadly bacteria

Roman AhmedWeb Editor

12th Jul, 2021. 07:34 pm

Naegleria is an ameba (single-celled living organism) commonly found in warm freshwater (for example, lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Only one species (type) of Naegleria infects people.

A neurologist in Karachi died from the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria Fowleri. The bacteria has taken four lives in the city this year.

“Dr. Majid was brought to the Pakistan Navy-run hospital PNS Shifa after he contracted the brain-eating virus on July 1,” Shakeel Ahmed, an associate of Naegleria monitoring and inspection team told media.

“On June 29, Dr. Majid developed headache and fever,” Ahmed said. On June 30, he was transferred to the ICU at the PNS Shifa hospital after his health worsened.

Dr. Majid fell cataleptic and he was put on ventilator on July 01, he said. He was living in an apartment near Sunset Boulevard DHA Phase-ll.

“Since 2012, Karachi has seen a sharp rise in the cases of Naegleria,” said Shakeel Ahmed, the pivotal person for the Karachi Naegleria Cell.

To examine these cases, the Sindh government has shaped a four-member commission commanded by the Karachi health director. “They will devise a strategy within three days to control the rising number of cases,” he said.

The health experts stated that by the time a patient is infected by the brain-eating amoeba reaches the hospital, there’s nothing the health experts can do.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from the deadly bacteria:

  • Put two tablespoons of bleaching powder in your underground tank
  • Put bleach in the water, it will kill all types of bacteria’s
  • Cover your water tanks
  • Clean your water tank at least once a year

The Karachi water board is accountable for distributing water to the pipelines, but guaranteeing the hygiene of the pipes and tanks is the duty of people.

An advisory has also been issued to Cantonment Board Clifton and Defence Housing Authority to make sure that the inhabitants of Defense and Clifton chlorinate their subversive water tanks.

Naegleria deaths in Karachi

  • Naegleria fowleri can cause an intermittent and overwhelming infection of the brain
  • It is usually found in warm freshwater (lakes, rivers) and soil
  • Naegleria fowleri usually infects when polluted water enters through the nose
  • Naegleria infections may infrequently occur from ineffectively chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water)
  • You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria
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