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KARACHI: A 20-year-old student suffering from high-grade fever for the past one week died of Naegleria fowleri, commonly called brain-eating amoeba, at a hospital, the Sindh health ministry confirmed on Thursday.

Abdullah Ahmad, this year’s fifth victim of the deadly disease, was a resident of Mujahid Colony, a neighbourhood in the Dalmia area, and originally hailed from Azad Kashmir, health officials disclosed.

He was initially admitted to a private hospital on Aug 11. He was shifted to a major hospital with high-grade fever and drowsiness three days before his death on Wednesday.  

Dr Syed Zafar Mehdi, heading the focal group for Naegleria fowleri, said the victim used to pray at a local mosque where he might have come in contact with the lethal amoeba during ablution. “We have inspected samples of the water being supplied to the locality and found no trace of chlorine in it,” he said.

Chlorination is the key method to kill the germ and keep the deadly disease at bay. Another way is to use boiled water while cleaning nose as the germ enters through the nasal cavity and attacks the brain.

The germ had killed three people last year. In all, it has claimed 45 lives over the past four years.

Just last month, a 29-year-old teacher residing in Gulberg Town had died of the disease.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2017

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