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Karachiites face a new parasite

October 23, 2012

OWING to lack of resources and belated action by the health administration 10 lives have been lost in Karachi in the last fortnight as a result of waterborne parasite naegleria fowleria.

The amoeba enters the brain through the nose and causes fever, vomiting, neck stiffness, headache and death in seven to 10 days.

This amoeba is present in tap water and can be avoided by first propagating awareness about it by spreading safety measures on the media, as well as by arranging seminars.

Further, it is essential to chlorinate water because death can be prevented if chlorine concentrations in water are adequate enough.

Moreover, it is essential to collect samples from various areas of the city to determine as to which area has the most growth of amoeba so that preventive measures could be taken.

Most of officials say that there is no need to panic but I think it needs to be pondered over seriously. As a preliminary measure, people must use boiled water for ablution.

I have occasionally witnessed some children belonging to low-profile society in Federal B Area swimming in dirty water pool. Such activities should be discouraged.

Health personnel like pharmacists should profile histories of affected people to get more knowledge about a parasite. Indeed dengue is in season and we should start doing something to prevent the amoeba, before the parasite goes ahead of dengue.

ALIYA KASHIF      Karachi