ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad has issued an advisory for prevention and control of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), or naegleriasis — an almost invariably fatal infection of the brain caused by a single-celled amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.

Deaths related to PAM have been regularly reported from Karachi since 2008.

With recently reported case of this year, the total count of cases has climbed up to 147 in Pakistan during past 14 years.

The naegleria lives in warm freshwater bodies, like lakes, pools, rivers, and hot springs and soil.

The objective of this advisory is to alert the public health authorities, water and sanitation agencies and other relevant stakeholders to undertake necessary steps to control it.

“It is imperative to take measures in mega cities particularly Karachi. Vigilant surveillance is also imperative to pick the suspected cases for early disease confirmation and ensuring aggressive measures to interrupt further transmission,” it stated.

The advisory has asked the general public that during recreational activities like swimming, avoid diving and getting water up in the nose.

Try to avoid water-related activities when the water is not chlorinated.

“Empty and clean small collapsible bathing pools daily. Ensure swimming pools and spas are adequately chlorinated and well maintained. If using un-chlorinated water, don’t allow water to go up in nose when bathing, showering or washing the face. Potentially contaminated water should not be used for any form of nasal irrigation or nasal lavage,” it stated.

Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans from animals, says the World Health Organization.

It typically presents clinically with fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to a range of medical complications.

There are about 80 confirmed cases so far across 11 countries and more cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands, it claimed.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2022

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