Here's how you can protect yourself from Naegleria

Karachi has reported four deaths from the bacteria this year
Jul 12, 2021

On Sunday, a Karachi neurologist died from the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria Fowleri. The bacteria has claimed four lives in the city this year.

"Since 2012, Karachi has seen a sharp rise in the cases of Naegleria," said Shakeel Ahmed, the focal person for the Karachi Naegleria Cell, on SAMAA TV show Naya Din Monday.

To investigate these cases, the Sindh government has formed a four-member committee led by the Karachi health director. "They will devise a strategy within three days to control the rising number of cases," he said.

Read: Naegleria deaths: 70% of Karachi water supply not chlorinated

Ahmed says by the time a patient infected by the brain-eating amoeba reaches hospital, there's nothing the doctors can do. "It is very important that people pro-detect the virus and take precautionary measures."

Here's how you can do this:

  • Put two tablespoons of bleaching powder in your underground tank
  • Put bleach in the water, it will kill all types of bacterias
  • Cover your water tanks
  • Clean your water tank at least once a year

The Karachi water board is responsible for delivering water to the pipelines, but ensuring the cleanliness of the pipes and tanks is the responsibility of people, Ahmed says.

An advisory has also been issued to Cantonment Board Clifton and Defence Housing Authority to make sure that the residents of Defence and Clifton chlorinate their underground water tanks.

Naegleria deaths in Karachi

  • Naegleria fowleri can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain
  • It is commonly found in warm freshwater (lakes, rivers) and soil
  • Naegleria fowleri usually infects when contaminated water enters through the nose
  • Naegleria infections may rarely occur from inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water)
  • You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria (Source: CDC)

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Naegleria fowleri

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