‘Brain-eating’ amoeba claims teenager’s life

Published September 14, 2019
The city’s health authorities on Friday confirmed that a teenage boy died from Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as ‘brain-eating’ amoeba, two days after admission to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. — AP/File
The city’s health authorities on Friday confirmed that a teenage boy died from Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as ‘brain-eating’ amoeba, two days after admission to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. — AP/File

KARACHI: The city’s health authorities on Friday confirmed that a teenage boy died from Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as ‘brain-eating’ amoeba, two days after admission to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Officials said 19-year-old Jamshed, a resident of Surjani Town, tested positive for the lethal disease and died in the hospital’s medical intensive care unit.

He was brought to the hospital in a critical condition suffering from high-grade fever, vomiting and was experiencing headaches.

Experts said the fatality rate of the lethal disease was 98 per cent.

This year 13 persons have lost their lives due to the lethal disease

He was the 13th person thus far this year who died in the city of the single-cell micro-organism.

Some officials said the victim, a student who worked on a part-time basis at an artificial jewellery shop, was living in an area which was among those many neighbourhoods of the city where insufficient chlorine was found in the water supply.

Officials said a team designated to investigate the case faced difficulties in accessing the deceased’s home and conducting interviews of family members as the relatives of the boy reportedly misbehaved with the team.

Chlorination of water 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 of its victim and attacks the brain.

The dangerous amoeba survives on the bacteria in warm waters and enters into human brain through nasal cavity and eats up its tissues.

The officials said that there was an urgent need to assess the process of chlorination and level of chlorine in water at all the major reservoirs supplying water as per WHO recommendations.

Besides, cleanliness must be maintained at all reservoirs, overhead tanks, etc, of households, pumping stations and hydrants at regular intervals.

They also recommended checking of pipelines for leakages and their rectification at the earliest to avoid contamination with sewage.

The households may be sensitised to treat their tanks with bleaching powder on a regular basis. Besides, water tanker contractors should be directed to maintain chlorine level in their tankers’ water and water sources of mosques should also be treated with bleaching powder regularly.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...
Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.