Naegleria fowleri in Karachi: Brain-eating amoeba kills two more


Naegleria fowleri in Karachi: Brain-eating amoeba kills two more

Karachi: After the two recent deaths, the total number of patients died due to ‘brain-eating amoeba’, or Naegleria fowleri has reached 10 since May.

Senior doctors are still clueless about the spread of the disease.

A Gulberg child is the recent victim of the disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). He was three-year-and-nine-month old and died on September 30.

The other victim was a 42-year-old man who was admitted to Ziauddin Hospital on August 23 and died three days later on August 26. He lived in Buffer Zone.

The dengue surveillance cell of the provincial health department issued the details of the two cases on Sunday.

The primary cause of the disease is believed to be swimming in public pools with improper arrangement for chlorination.

But according to the details, the two patients were no history of swimming. In fact, officials said that except for one victim out f the 10, no one had history of swimming.

There was no information either from the hospitals or the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s health officials about the admissions or death of the two patients till Saturday, the focal person of the dengue surveillance cell, Dr Shakeel A. Mullick told Dawn.

“We need a large number of cases to work out the significance of age, gender and area on the likelihood that someone will be infected,” The Express Tribune quoted Dr Naseem Salahuddin, the head of Indus Hospital’s infectious diseases department, as saying.

“We can’t do this if we only have between 8 and 10 cases.

“It is not a new organism. It has always been in our atmosphere. The only difference is that we are aware of it now and know how to check for its presence in the human body.

“Previously, doctors did not have awareness and used to treat cases of the disease as bacterial meningitis. Now they test the patients for naegleria.”