KARACHI: Two persons died from Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as brain-eating amoeba, and Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in the city, health authorities confirmed on Saturday.

With the death of 26-year-old Akbar Asad, the total number of fatalities caused by Naegleria fowleri in the city reached 14 this year. It was the second such death in a span of two days.

Asad, a student and resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar, was admitted to a private hospital two days ago as he was suffering from high-grade fever, vomiting and headaches.

A middle-aged man dies of Congo fever at a local hospital

He was diagnosed as another victim of the lethal infection, the survival chances of which are less than five per cent.

Officials interviewed his relatives and found that the patient had no history of visiting any swimming pool. However, he bathed every day but was irregular in offering prayers. Thus, Naegleria symptom through nasal cavity might not be possible, the officials said.

They said the town health officer and surveillance coordinator had been informed and samples of water supplied to the area, from the home and visiting sites, would be collected.

They added health education regarding precautionary measures would be given to the family and the community.

They said out of 14 victims of the dangerous germ, one was a 33-year-old woman. The age of the victims ranged between 16 and 45 years.

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 bacteria in warm waters and enters into human brain through nasal cavity and eats up its tissues.

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

Man dies of Congo fever

A 54-year-old man suffering from CCHF infection died at a private hospital on Saturday.

Habib Khan, a resident of Lyari, was admitted to the hospital for a few days after his condition deteriorated and the family shifted him there.

Officials in the provincial health department said Habib was the 17th victim of the lethal infection caused by a tick in animals thus far this year.

They said so far 36 cases of CCHF had been reported — most of them from the metropolis.

Officials confirmed that the condition of another sexagenarian was critical at a hospital.

The executive director of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Dr Seemin Jamali, said two patients suffering from CCHF had recovered from the disease and were discharged from the hospital.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2019