Fears start lurking as `brain-eating’ amoeba claims youth’s life


`Brain-eating’ amoeba, also called naegleria fowleri, claimed the life of a youth in the city, thereby creating fears among Karachiites in early monsoon.

Officials in the Sindh health ministry identified the first victim of the current monsoon as Zahid Khan, aged 30 years and a resident of Baldia Town. The victim admitted to a private hospital in a serious condition three days back was suffering from high fever with all symptoms that later confirmed that he was a victim of amoeba, a lethal condition the sufferers of which could not survive in 99.9 percent cases. Though the danger associated with the lethal disease was feared much before the advent of monsoon, Sindh government has not released funds and resources required for efficient functioning of the committee which it had formed last year to check its increasing dangers. The committee had eventually become dormant following receiving no support from the government.

Initially, the committee worked on its own and shared its primary findings with the media, disclosing that most of the city’s localities were supplied non-chlorinated water.

Chlorination is the key method to kill the germ and keep the life-taking disease at bay. Another way is to use boiled water while cleaning nose as the germ enters through the nasal cavity of its victim and attacks the brain.

Experts had warned on the eve of monsoon that amoeba’ germs would get breeding grounds in stagnant rainwater and water stored in tyres at shops and threaten life as it did last year when more than a dozen people lost their lives due to the deadly disease.

It may be recalled here that naegleria fowler had claimed 14 lives in 2014.