‘Brain-eating amoeba’ claims one life

Published May 28, 2014
Naegleria fowleri is a special organism found in warm water or puddles. — File Photo by AFP
Naegleria fowleri is a special organism found in warm water or puddles. — File Photo by AFP

KARACHI: The city’s health authorities confirmed on Tuesday the death of a 39-year-old man caused by naegleria fowleri, or ‘brain-eating amoeba’.

The man was admitted in a ‘highly critical’ condition to a private hospital last week, they added.

He lived in Gulistan-i-Jauhar town, said the officials. “The victim’s name was Azhar Hussain, a resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar, who died of naegleria on Saturday after enduring the deadly disease for a day in a private hospital,” said Dr Zafar Ijaz, executive district officer health, Karachi, while speaking to Dawn.

The officials said the victim’s body was taken for burial to his ancestral town in Punjab.

They added that Mr Hussain had no history of swimming, and they suspected the victim had been afflicted with the deadly amoeba while performing ablution somewhere near or inside an industrial unit a relative of his owned.

“He is the first victim of the disease this year in Sindh,” said Dr Ijaz.

Last year, the disease claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy from Korangi, a 20-year-old man from New Karachi’s Godhra Colony and a 40-year-old man from Lines Area.

The disease had claimed 10 lives in 2012.

Officials said a meeting was held on Tuesday with senior officials from the provincial government, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board.

The participants in the meeting discussed the matter and formed a coordination committee between the government and the KWSB to ensure that the city’s water was properly chlorinated to prevent any further death because of the disease.

The meeting also decided to form a subcommittee with the mandate to survey swimming pools and water parks to check if they were properly chlorinated.

PAM (primary amoebic meningoencephalitis) is defined in medical literature as a rare but typically fatal infection caused by naegleria fowleri, an amoeba found in rivers, lakes, springs, drinking water networks and poorly chlorinated swimming pools.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2014

Opinion

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel
21 Jan 2021

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel

It is worth noting that massive plans have been upended and assets are now on the verge of being seized.
A horned dilemma
21 Jan 2021

A horned dilemma

Trump would rather ‘reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n’.
Violence & Afghan peace talks
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Violence & Afghan peace talks

Many of those killed in recent weeks have actively been campaigning against rampant violence and rising human rights violations

Editorial

Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...