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Monday Jul 12 2021

Karachi reports fourth death of 2021 from Naegleria

Karachi reports fourth death of 2021 from Naegleria

  • Young doctor becomes 2021’s fourth Naegleria victim in Karachi
  • Brain-eating amoeba kills young neurosurgeon, who was on a ventilator for the last several days 
  • Naegleria fowleri is found in freshwater.

KARACHI: Brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri claimed its fourth victim of 2021 in Karachi on Monday, health officials said.

The victim was a young neurosurgeon who died due to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) at the PNS Shifa Hospital. He was 30 years old.

“Dr Majid Ismail Chandio, a resident of DHA Karachi and a neurosurgeon by profession, had contracted a Naegleria fowleri infection on June 30. He was on ventilator for the past several days and died today at the PNS Shifa Hospital,” Shakeel Ahmed, technical officer public health, was quoted as saying by The News.

On Friday, an eight-year-old boy from District Central had died due to PAM caused by Naegleria during treatment at the Liaquat National Hospital. 

Naegleria fowleri, which is found in freshwater, has claimed four lives so far this year in Karachi.

A 30-year-old resident of the Abul Hasan Ispahani Road area and a 40-year-old resident of the Quaidabad neighbourhood had died after being infected by Naegleria in June and mid-May respectively.

What is Naegleria and what can we do?

Doctors and health experts say Naegleria usually enters the brain and attacks the nervous system when infected water is ingested through the nasal cavity while bathing, swimming or performing ablution.

The deadly amoeba survives on bacteria in warm waters and can only be decimated through proper chlorination or boiling of water.

Health experts advise people to get their underground and overhead water tanks cleaned before summer starts every year and use chlorine tablets to routinely purify the water.

Karachi reports fourth death of 2021 from Naegleria